China. The future is in smaller and local community stores
Urbanisation is driving the growth of new-generation convenience stores in China. According to the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution), Jonathan Wang, manager of 7FRESH (JD.com group), refers to them as “community stores”. He distinguishes between two formulas. A ‘minimarket is from 300 to 500 sq.m, for a catchment area of 500 meters to 1.5 km. A ‘compact’ is 1,000 sq.m, with examples like JD.com’s 7FFRESH that are quickly deploying with an omnichannel customer offer. These convenience stores are based on a supply chain reinforced by digital technology. A.I. controls centralised sourcing, inventory management, and twice-daily restocking with a cold-chain system.
To meet the needs of their community, these units offer fresh or ready-to-cook products as a priority rather than snacks or industrial products (unlike supermarkets), explain a 7FRESH spokesperson.