CONVENIENCE STORE FORMAT IS DEAD ALREADY IN CHINA…

convenience store

The convenience store format is dead… welcome to the “INSTANT convenience store” 时便利.

After the siamese cat from TMall, the blue hippopotamus from Hema, the white dog from JD. com, the koala from Kaola m-commerce site, here comes the friendly brown ape with his cap 猩便利 (xingbianli).

 

This four month-old new born ape has already secured a 380 million yuan (Million 60 US $) A1 round of financing early November… where we find the usual supporting and caring parents: …Sequoia Capital China fund, Huaxing Capital and Yuan Jing Capital.

 

The ape company was established in June 2017 and by the end of September, the company has already installed 10,000 vending machines / dispensers in China first and second-tier cities.

 

The ape has opened in less than 5 months 8 stores in Shanghai…

 

I found one not too far away from my office this lunch; here are my first impressions:

The store is a nano convenience store, no more than 100 m2. Instantly we understand that we are not anymore in a convenience store… Welcome to the INSTANT convenience store.

 

Ready to eat, very small packaging and very short assortment. You are not in the store more than 1 per 2 minutes maximum. Payment is of course with your mobile.

 

First, open your WeChat, download the ape APP, then scan the product barcode of the electronic price tag, add the desired number of items ( same way you will do online), pay and leave…

 

It is not a bongo box which means that there is some staff in the store. Price wise, clearly not the battlefield they have chosen, nothing special. But one thing is sure… it is fast, even for the first time, you get what you need for an INSTANT consumption and you leave the place for the next client.

 

The ape is less than 6 month-old but looks like he has already all attributes to become a new KingKong of the INSTANT convenience stores…

 

By Stéphane Joly, Executive Vice President / Business Development Asia