Wal-Mart in China: From 3 stores to 1,000 in 5 Years
Wal-Mart China Public Relations Manager Chen Lu acknowledged today that the world’s largest retailer has big plans in China. Wal-Mart currently has 3 stores in China, but that’s just the beginning. Wal-Mart plans to open 1,000 convenience stores under the name of “Hui Xuan” within the next five years, 100 of which will be opened in 2009.
It might make sense for Wal-Mart’s Hui Xan to set up mini kiosks to showcase and sell iPhones/iPods. This would follow a similar path to the Apple/Wal-Mart’s US distribution strategy — you can find special Apple iPhone/iPod kiosks in many Wal-Mart stores.
Best Buy and Apple in China partnership
Apple has some reseller partners in China, but only one company-owned store in Beijing’s Sanlitun Village. Apple may be looking for more storefronts to showcase and sell iPhone. This storefront expansion has already begun. On April 13, Five Star Appliance, Best Buy’s wholly owned China subsidiary, announced plans to set up “stores-in-store” for Apple products. It’s a fair bet that Apple will offer iPhone for sale at Five Star Appliance stores later this year. Yet it’s likely that Apple will need more storefronts to reach out to a potential 670 million wireless customers in China. A partnership with Wal-Mart China might make good sense.