Wal-Mart buys into Chinese grocery store Yihaodian

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Indy Lifestyle Online

US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc has agreed to buy a minority stake in Chinese online grocery store Yihaodian, the two companies said Friday.

"Online sales in China are growing rapidly and are projected to match US online sales in the next few years," Wal-Mart Stores Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said in a statement.

"By investing in Yihaodian, we're continuing to establish a presence in this important e-commerce market, and are moving forward on fulfilling our aspiration of being the leading global multichannel retailer."

Yu Gang, president and co-founder of Shanghai-based Yihaodian, confirmed to AFP the deal was signed Friday but declined to provide further details.

The companies would hold a news conference next week, he said.

"Walmart brings its global vision into our business. In addition, its supply chain excellence will help us gain a competitive edge in the e-commerce industry in China," Yu said in a statement.

Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian, or "number one store" in Chinese, employs more than 2,000 people and has logistics networks in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou in southern China.

It recorded revenue of 805 million yuan ($123.8 million) last year, according to figures provided by the company.

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