Walmart opens first high-tech supermarket in China
Walmart's store, located in the southern city of Shenzhen, will stock more than 8,000 items ranging from stir-fried clams to fresh fruit which will also be available online.
Walmart Inc said on Monday it has opened its first small-sized high-tech supermarket in China, which will stock products that customers will also be able to buy on the US retailer's store on Chinese online marketplace JD.com.
The move comes as "smart retail" gains popularity in China, as retailers and tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd cut deals to integrate shoppers' online and offline experience.
Walmart's store, located in the southern city of Shenzhen, will stock more than 8,000 items ranging from stir-fried clams to fresh fruit, 90 percent of which will also be available online.
Items shopped can be delivered to customers within a 2-kilometre radius as quickly as 29 minutes, said Walmart, which owns a stake in JD.com.
Walmart said that customers at the new supermarket will be able to use a mini program on Tencent Holding Ltd's WeChat as they shop, and bypass traditional checkout counters by paying via their mobile device.
Earlier, Walmart Inc's patent filings hint that it may see a future where farmers use its drones to not only spot crop problems but selectively apply chemicals or even disperse pollen to bring shoppers the freshest and cheapest food possible.
The world's largest retailer applied for six patents last year on drones that aim to prevent damage to crops, control pest attacks on farms and cross-pollinate plants, according to US Patents and Trademark Office documents that were made public last week and seen by Reuters.
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