China Food

Box horse self rescue, fresh “one yuan store” open?

“ 
The discount stores where
can finally survive are experts who surpass the price war.
 ”
When many cities and stores of HEMA fresh food are closed at the same time, the counter trend opening of a new business format “HEMA fresh food olai” (hereinafter referred to as HEMA olai) is quite eye-catching.
since the beginning of this year, in addition to closing its stores in Nanjing, Qingdao, Chengdu, Guangzhou and other places, its community group purchase project HEMA linli also suddenly withdrew from the city on a large scale in early April. But it was at this moment that on March 31, the first store of “hemaole” in Changsha, which focuses on the discount sale of fresh products under HEMA, opened. In the same month, the Chongqing first store of hemaole also opened.
a few months ago, the first stores of hemaole in Xi’an, Qingdao, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and other cities opened successively. Among them, the Shanghai store transformed from HEMA Mini store last October is the first store of this “fresh world outlets”.
boxes of marole are positioned as quality discount stores. “The price is basically less than half of the surrounding fresh supermarket”, Hou Yi, CEO of HEMA, told the media shortly after the opening of the first store in Shanghai.
what is the new business form against the trend? Recently, I went to Beijing AoFang shop, the special shop of Xuebao shop.
(photo taken by snow leopard finance and economics agency, qunfangyuan store, Beijing’s first store)
1 yuan vegetable and minced meat
As the first store in Beijing, HEMA Aolai qunfangyuan store is located in Tongzhou District outside the Fifth Ring Road of Beijing. The store is two or three kilometers away from Roosevelt, the largest shopping center nearby. It is in a remote location. There are five or six communities nearby with many residents.
box Mayo fresh food store has a simple external decoration and an internal area of about 300 square meters. The wall prominently reads “outlets in the fresh food industry, good quality and low price”. The shelves are filled with all kinds of vegetables, fruits, flowers, beer, drinks and other commodities, but mainly fresh vegetables, and there are about two or three hundred SKUs (minimum inventory units).
even at more than 4 p.m. on weekdays, the store is still crowded. A security guard at the store told Xuebao finance and economics that as soon as the door opens at 8 a.m. every day, many people will pour in, “never when there are few people”.
(at 4 p.m. on weekdays, the store is crowded with people, photographed by snow leopard finance and Economics)
although Hou Yi said that “the price of box marole is basically less than half that of the surrounding fresh food supermarkets”, the discount of this first store in Beijing is lower, and the price is 30 to 50% off, or even as low as 10%. According to the rough statistics of snow leopard finance and economics, in this qunfangyuan store, there are about 20 kinds of boxed vegetables with a price of only more than 1 yuan, and a box of 120 grams of minced pork with a price of only 1.4 yuan, which can be called a fresh “one yuan store”.
(1.4 yuan a box of minced pork, photographed by snow leopard finance and Economics)
it is worth noting that hemaole marked in the store: the goods here are the next day downgraded sales of HEMA’s “daily fresh” series of goods, that is, “next day fresh”, from HEMA fresh, HEMA Mini store and other channels. The next day’s downgrade was consistent with CEO Hou Yi’s statement that “it is mainly to help HEMA fresh in the same city reduce the loss of stores and processing centers”.
when exploring the shop, snow leopard financial agency only saw three clerks, one cashier and the other two tallymans. In order to save manpower, hemaole focuses on self-service checkout and only has a manual cash cashier.
(a long checkout line, photographed by Xuebao finance and Economics)
however, according to the observation of Xuebao finance and economics agency, the commodities here are not all low-priced. Some commodities with long shelf life, such as beverages and condiments, are expensive, or the price is the same as that in general supermarkets. For example, a bottle of 500 ml of cola is priced at 3.8 yuan, and a bottle of Baijiu mountain wine is 15.9 yuan.
in this arrangement, low-priced goods can be used to divert higher priced goods. However, these higher priced goods are placed in the corner and few people pay attention to them.
in addition to the situation of the first store in Beijing, according to the “diary” and messages on xiaohongshu app, the impression of customers around the box Mayo store is basically focused on “cheap”, “easy to buy”, as well as “crowded” and “platoon leader”.
The discount store
cannot be supported by low prices alone
Box marole is not the first fresh discount store in China.
Yipin fresh food (hereinafter referred to as Yipin), which focuses on fresh food discount, has achieved profitability; Compared with the famous German quality discount store Aldi’s fresh legend supermarket, it claims to have iterated to the seventh generation store since its establishment in 2017.
but the experience of peers is that if fresh discount stores want to have core competitiveness, they must not only rely on low prices.
Yipin claims to “move the farmers’ market to the door of the community”. According to Chongqing daily, Yipin’s goods are more than 20% cheaper than large supermarkets. However, the key to the competitiveness of Yipin is not in the price war. The most distinctive feature of
Yipin is that it adopts the “partnership system” in front-end stores and back-end supply chains.
in the front end, the establishment of each store not only requires the investment of the headquarters, but also requires the store team to buy shares out of their own pocket. The low salary and the initiative of the employees can stimulate the enthusiasm of the employees. The store manager can even purchase and sell independently according to the situation of the community. The result of the partnership system at the front end of
is that if the store has no profit, it is difficult for the partners to continue to operate, so they will take more initiative to control the cost of the store and pay more attention to sales innovation according to local conditions. Yipin also requires new stores to make money within three months to ensure the overall stable profitability of Yipin.
back-end supply chain partnership brings the cooperation mode of “sharing risks and profits”. With the cooperation of supply chain partners, the “vertical supply chain” model is also more convenient. For example, after the overall procurement in the upstream production area and “contracting down the mountain”, the partners will take the initiative to reduce costs and take measures to ensure the low price of procurement.
once used to burn money, HEMA must make profits quickly under the requirements of Alibaba’s “business responsibility system” of assuming sole responsibility for its own profits and losses.
on the first day of 2022, Hou Yi proposed in his internal letter that the goal of this year is “comprehensive profitability”. It is in this context that hemaole broke into the fresh food discount store track.
boxes of Aole claim to be “outlets in the fresh world”. However, outlets in China have long been polarized: outlets that used discounts to get customers in the early stage have closed a large number of outlets. Those outlets that live well do not win by price war, but become the consumption destination of citizens’ “micro vacation”.
whether outlets or friendship products in the fresh food industry can survive in the end, they are experts who surpass the price war.
Box marole has two more passes
The first gateway of hemaole is to have a sufficient supply of low-cost goods.
at present, the products of hemaole come from the temporary fresh products and losses of hemale fresh. Because they are “redundant goods”, they can achieve ultra-high cost performance. However, the quantity of redundant goods is limited and the supply is unstable. To replicate on a large scale, it is necessary to transform and upgrade the supply chain.
although HEMA has sunk to the producing area and has built 550 direct mining bases and 136 HEMA villages across the country, it is not easy to transform the fresh supply chain into a “cost-effective” supply chain. The procurement system of HEMA fresh in the origin of goods pays more attention to quality, while HEMA ole requires high cost performance. Whether we can complete the supply chain transformation in the original place of origin and purchase cost-effective fresh goods sources that meet the requirements of discount stores on a large scale is a new challenge.
according to the experience of Yipin, in order to minimize the cost, it is necessary to adopt the unified procurement mode of origin. Regardless of the appearance, all products are purchased uniformly to ensure the cost performance. Then, during sorting, the products with good appearance are used for retail, and those with poor appearance are turned to the wholesale of to B channel to make money through two channels.
boxes of marole belong to the retail channel and need to sell good-looking agricultural products. Therefore, selective procurement is required in the place of origin, but this procurement mode is far less expensive than turnkey procurement. If the turnkey procurement mode is adopted, not only the sorting procedure should be added, but also the to B channel may need to be built in HEMA.
the second pass comes from food safety management.
food safety is the lifeline of the fresh food industry. At present, box marole sells “fresh next day”, that is, fresh on schedule.
temporary fresh preservation conditions are more complex than prepackaged food, which requires higher requirements for stores and greater investment in food safety management. However, large investment and low price have formed a paradox, which objectively poses a challenge to food safety management.
in addition, the industry management of temporary fresh food also faces difficulties. Fresh goods are different from ordinary prepackaged food. Even within the shelf life marked by the store, they may deteriorate if stored improperly.
Tianyan inspection shows that even other business forms of HEMA were publicly punished by local authorities for food safety problems for no less than 15 times in January and February this year, with a cumulative penalty of more than 750000 yuan. At present, the products of HEMA Aolai are temporary fresh food from other business forms of HEMA fresh food.
at present, HEMA has been established for more than 6 years. Although HEMA fresh, HEMA x member store, HEMA linli and other retail formats have been burned, there is still a distance from profitability. Now HEMA is facing the pressure of “comprehensive profit” and has closed its stores in many cities. Even hemalin Li, which Hou Yi called “the most important strategy in the next decade”, began to withdraw from Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xi’an in April.
in this context, the new business status of HEMA Aolai, which “bucked the trend” in the tide of closing stores, has been placed with new hope.
however, if only the positioning of “helping HEMA fresh reduce the loss of stores and processing centers”, how large can hemaole be? Mainly facing the medium and high-end market, can HEMA really pay attention to the relatively low-end temporary fresh business? Still a problem.
Author: Chen Chongshan; Source: Xuebao finance and Economics (ID: Xuebao caijingshe), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246); Foodaily Expo 2022] in line with the original intention of providing the whole value chain and one-stop industrial innovation services for the industry, foodaily Expo 2022 (2022.05.31-06.02, Shanghai) is further upgraded. In addition to the upstream and downstream of the food industry, it also covers and gathers multiple resources such as e-commerce, social media, traffic, channels and capital, aiming to bring you an annual innovation feast. Here, products, content, technology, marketing and other aspects related to food & brand innovation will be presented in the form of “professional exhibition + innovative content + interactive experience”, breaking through and differentiating in the consistent form of industry exhibition.

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