Waitrose is selling its products online to the Chinese market – and says this could become its biggest international business in the next three to five years.
From today, the supermarket is offering 30 products, including its Duchy Organic biscuits, baby items, coffee, tea and nuts and other own brand goods through the Royal Mail store on Tmall Global, part of the Alibaba Group . The online store has a dedicated Waitrose page, with information about the brand for consumers in the Chinese market, and the supermarket is working with Avenue 51, which runs the Royal Mail store on Tmall.
“The potential for Waitrose in China is huge,” said Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson, “and although it’s a relatively modest start it’s our ambition to see it become our biggest international business in the next three to five years. We are proud that Waitrose is recognised around the world for quality, and excited to be reaching new markets.”
China is the 59th country that Waitrose exports to, after countries including Spain, India, South Africa and the Falkland Islands. It cites IMRG 2014 research that estimated that less than half of China’s 1.36bn population was using the internet then. In addition, it said, the number of mobile internet users in China had grown by more than eight times in the last five years, and was expected to top 700m in 2016.
Richard Snowdon, international director at Royal Mail , said he was delighted to welcome Waitrose to the Royal Mail store. “Our Tmall Global shop front brings British brands together with hundreds of millions of shoppers in China,” he said. “For British retailers and exporters, Royal Mail offers an accelerated opportunity to access the China market and for consumers, we provide a distinctive range of quality British products delivered right to their door.”