American supermarket chain Kroger has partnered with Alibaba Group to sell nuts, supplements and other products in China, venturing outside the United States for the first time.
Kroger’s Simple Truth brand natural and organic products, which generated US$2 billion in sales last year, will be sold in China beginning on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
Initial offerings include almonds and multivitamins.
“E-commerce enables Kroger to quickly scale (up) to reach new customers and markets where we don’t operate physical stores, starting with China,” Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer, was quoted as saying in a statement.
The latest move from the 135-year-old grocer comes as the US grocery industry wrestles Amazon’s aggressive expansion into groceries through its purchase of specialty retailer Whole Foods Market and other efforts, the report noted.
Kroger will sell Simple Truth products on Alibaba’s Tmall Global virtual storefront “to meet Chinese consumers’ growing demand for high-quality, organic food products,” an Alibaba spokesman told Reuters.
Kroger’s arrangement with Alibaba raises the stakes for rival US grocery seller Walmart, which along with its Chinese partner JD.com, is fighting Alibaba for dominance in the China market.
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