Alibaba Group's (NYSE: BABA) B2C e-commerce site Tmall has announced that it has launched a trial version of its "lightning store" service, where users living within a 3 kilometer radius of a store can enjoy one-hour delivery service.
Tmall's lightning stores are a new retail project that resulted from the collaboration between Tmall, online and mobile fresh food retail platform Yiguo.com, and ExFresh Logistics Technology. Presently, the stores are mainly focused on fresh produce delivery. Consumers can put in orders online, which the platform's system will automatically forward to the nearest store. The store itself then handles packaging and sorting, with delivery completed within one hour.
Over the course of this year, Tmall will add at least 20 such stores in order to achieve full coverage in Beijing.
The first 36 lightning store warehouses cover the majority of districts within Beijing's Fifth Ring Road, while most areas outside of this zone are also covered.
Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "Tmall to Offer Special Products and Services to Beijing Consumers," MD 8/06/17 issue.