Marketing in China: Understanding 'New Retail' and Alibaba's Role in It - eMarketer
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eMarketer Interview

Marketing in China: Understanding 'New Retail' and Alibaba's Role in It

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An interview with

Nishtha Mehta

Founder, CollabCentral Consulting

Interview summary

Alibaba has recently invested significant sums of money in brick-and-mortar stores, including Yintai Group, owner of department store chain Intime; electronics retailer Suning; and supermarket operators Sanjiang and Bailian. Alibaba chairman Jack Ma has branded the acquisitions part of the company’s “new retail” strategy. But what does the concept mean for the future of retail in China? eMarketer’s David Green spoke with Nishtha Mehta, founder of CollabCentral Consulting, which specializes in omnichannel marketing, to get the lowdown on what new retail might mean for retail brands in China.


eMarketer: Is “new retail” such a big deal, or is it just a reaction to what consumers are demanding anyway?

Nishtha Mehta: It is a big deal and it is not just a response to existing consumer demand, because in China—you create demand in this market. The biggest example of the difference between new retail and the old typical order is trying to remove the middle man, the distributor.