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Insight Report

China Tech Briefings: Ling Shou Tong—Alibaba Leverages Independent Convenience Stores to Gain a Competitive Advantage in New Retail

Coresight Research

Key Points

  • Ling Shou Tong is a partnership program between Internet giant Alibaba, the owner of Tmall, and independent, family-run convenience stores (c-stores) in China. It aims to modernize c-stores by enabling them to incorporate technology for analytics and operational improvement.
  • Participating c-store managers process their inventory orders through a dedicated Ling Shou Tong app. They also receive purchase recommendations and are able to offer additional services such as mobile pop-ups to shoppers. The stores that perform well can rebrand themselves as “Tmall Corner Stores.”
  • Ling Shou Tong is an integral part of Alibaba’s “New Retail” strategy, which aims to integrate online and offline retailing through digitalization. Through the program, Alibaba leverages a vast network of c-stores in China to expand its offline reach, enhance its knowledge of local markets and strengthen its distribution business, last-mile delivery capabilities and brand recognition.

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