Metcash launches website with China focus

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th October 2015

ChinaDespite China’s economic growth being in slowdown mode, Australia’s struggling grocery wholesaler Metcash says it is establishing an online shopping service to target China.


Metcash which owns IGA, Lucky-7 convenience stores, Mitre-10 and a number of other Australian businesses, said in The Australian that it has entered the Chinese market through a new website selling Australian food and drink, such as infant formula, Weet-Bix and Uncle Toby’s product ranges.


The announcement of Metcash’s moves online follows not long after other ‘renewal plans’ and the appointment of a new executive General Manager, Mark Hewlett.


For the financial year ending the 30 June 2015, Metcash reported a AUD$384 million loss.


The website will be run in partnership with the Alibaba Group, the Chinese giant in online shopping. One of the group’s sites, Taobao, is reported as being in the top 20 most visited websites globally. Other Australian and New Zealand food companies, including A-2 milk and Bellamy’s Organic baby food,  already sell through Alibaba’s other major website, Tmall. Australia Post also signed an agreement with Alibaba in May 2014 allowing purchasing from the site in Australia to become easier.


According to Alibaba, as of 2014, 300 million Chinese did all of their shopping online.


A recent report by Goldman Sachs states that nearly half of all Chinese personal spending goes towards food and clothing.


Search engines such as Google and social media sites such as Facebook are blocked in China.