JD.com CEO Richard Liu Shares Vision for the Future of Retail at World Retail Congress
For JD.com founder and CEO Richard Liu, the future of retail is about enabling customers to buy whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. Speaking at the World Retail Congress in Madrid, Spain, Richard stressed the company’s vision for the future of retail innovation. A 2018 World Retail Hall of Fame inductee, Richard explained that the focus of retail innovation should be on bringing more convenience, choice and peace of mind to customers, while leveraging the best in technological solutions to empower partners and suppliers.
“Building our retail business to reach nearly 300 million customers is just the beginning of the journey,” said Liu. “Now that we have scale we are helping society through programs like sustainable farming and recycling packaging. Our true legacy will not only be how many consumers we reach, but the overall impact we have on society.”
During the event, JD also announced several strategic partnerships to empower historic European brands with its enormous e-commerce capabilities and technological resources in China. To satisfy the huge growth in demand for the highest-quality wines on its platform, JD is working with many world-renown European wine producers to give them direct access to JD’s nearly 300 million customers. JD recently partnered with family-owned winery Peter Mertes to make the full line of Germany’s S.A. Prüm Rieslings available via JD.com, as well as several other mid-range priced offerings.
The company has already enabled the direct purchasing of many of the world’s premium wines via its platform. This includes Bordeaux wines from all 61 châteaus on the 1855 Classification list such as Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Latour, among others. European wine has become increasingly popular on JD – the company sold over 18 million bottles in 2017 alone. JD will leverage its big data analytics capabilities to help these brands identify new customers and achieve success online in China.
JD separately announced its collaboration with Osborne Group, a leading Spanish food and beverage group, to open a flagship store for its Cinco Jotas (5J) Iberian ham products on JD.com. Founded in 1879, Cinco Jotas produces 100% acorn-fed free-range Iberian ham through an artisanal process that has been passed down for generations. Iberian ham has recently become popular with Chinese consumers, with sales on JD increasing nearly 700% in the last two years.
Osborne Group opened its Osborne Wine & Spirits flagship store on JD in 2016, offering products such as Montecillo Rioja wine, Carlos I Sherry brandy and Nordes premium gin. The store on JD is a key pillar of Osborne’s omni-channel strategy in China. 5J ham has been sold on JD since last year, and the company recently brought its products to JD’s newly launched premium offline supermarket 7Fresh. The new addition of the 5J flagship store on JD.com will allow for truly seamless online-to-offline access to the brand’s products in China. The two parties also plan to implement a blockchain-based tracking solution, which allows customers to trace the entire cycle of 5J ham from production to delivery.
Over the past two years, the number of European brands on JD has almost doubled, with beauty and skin care products, home appliances, clothing, drinks and maternal and child care products performing particularly well. Earlier this year, the company launched its Paris office, and committed to sell €2 billion worth of French products on its platform in the next two years.