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going to the post office for shopping, like going to the post office to buy medicine and drink coffee, requires market education.
More than ten years have passed, and China Post has always cherished the idea of supermarket retail. But going to the post office for shopping, like going to the post office to buy medicine and drink coffee, requires market education.
Post office supermarket, two-way drainage
Although the life of traditional supermarkets is not easy, more and more enterprises want to cross the border to become supermarkets. After ByteDance revealed that it was going to be an online supermarket against jd.com some time ago, China Post also entered the post office, and its action was one step faster than bytediao. Supermarkets in its multiple outlets have opened to welcome customers, and also started community group purchase and live delivery online.
According to “Sichuan Post”, at present, China Post has opened two supermarkets in Chengdu and Bazhong respectively. Like the previous post office coffee, the supermarkets are all opened in the postal outlets and follow the “store in store” mode. The postal and supermarket businesses are conducted at the same time and lead each other.
At present, these two supermarkets have entered the trial operation state. From the site layout, both supermarkets have a strong China Post style. The dark gray shelves are matched with the unique retro green of the post, and the recognition is very high. The commodities sold are no different from ordinary supermarkets. Fresh fruits and vegetables, rice flour, grain and oil, wine and milk, snacks, daily chemicals and other miscellaneous food and commodities are available.
In the specific operation mode, the post office supermarket is similar to the post office coffee, and cooperates with a third-party organization. For example, the store in store supermarket located in Fuyang Post Branch of Tongjiang County, Bazhong City, Sichuan Province, cooperates with a local chain supermarket. The other party provides goods, builds a supermarket scene, and equips professional operators. The operation effect is better than that of postal self operation.
According to the official introduction, before cooperating with the third party, Sichuan Post adopted the self operated mode in the supermarket business of some outlets. Due to insufficient supply of goods, few types of goods, and no professional staff, the stores in the later stage were not sold, and the goods were slow to sell, so the strategy had to be changed.
The public information shows that the cross-border supermarket business of postal services is mainly to “interact” with customers through the store in store mode, realize the mutual flow of postal products and supermarket commodities, and obtain a more diversified customer group. For this reason, the post office supermarket has also made a lot of binding with the main business of the post in the setting of the customer rights and interests system. For example, customers can get full discount coupons from supermarkets when they handle designated financial business, and customers can apply for membership cards when they buy goods in supermarkets, and enjoy all commodity discounts for a long time.
Like the coffee business, the cross-border supermarket of postal service is not just a superficial one, but has a long-term scale and goal. It claims to build the post office supermarket into a new retail platform of “store in store” integrating postal outlets + supermarkets + community group purchase. It combines finance, postal service and online and offline retail business to build a customer ecosystem.
According to the plan, Chengdu post will take the lead in selecting 3 branches and 24 points from the city’s 246 comprehensive outlets for joint venture pilot. It is expected that 105 “stores” will be built first this year
However, the supermarket dream and retail dream of China Post have not been extinguished. In recent years, China Post has been involved in retail business through self-operation, cooperation, authorization, franchise and other ways, and has successively launched convenience store brands such as “Younong convenience store”, “urban housekeeper”, “mail Tesco”, “mail leyouxian” and “mail shopkeeper”. In addition, China Post has also set foot in the retail industry through cross-border medicine, cigarettes, milk tea, coffee and other industries. However, most of them are small in thunder and rain, and have not been promoted to the whole country, forming a scale effect. Although the post office coffee project launched at the beginning of the year has started to go north, there are only 5 stores in the country.
The launch of the “store in store” supermarket project, like a series of previous cross-border projects, has obvious advantages and disadvantages. In terms of advantages, the most talked about are of course its nationwide network of more than 54000 outlets and complete warehousing, logistics and distribution system, which are unmatched by many large Internet companies that want to do cross-border retail business. That is why it is often said that if the postal retail business wants to expand, it can easily achieve tens of thousands of stores.
But from the previous experience, the actual operation is not so simple. Take its biggest advantage of outlets. Although there are many outlets, not all of them are suitable for opening supermarkets. There is a certain gap between the location, area and property structure of most outlets and the stores needed for operating supermarkets, which ultimately leads to unsatisfactory location selection of stores and affects the operation effect.
The second is the supply chain. The retail business, which combines online and offline, tests the entire supply chain system composed of suppliers, channels, platforms, logistics and consumers. Any difference in any link will affect the final effect. As mentioned above, China Post’s “store in store” supermarkets in some areas of Sichuan Province had adopted the self operated mode, and the lack of supply led to too few types of goods, and the lack of retail experience in the outlets, which led to the failure of the stores in the later period.
It is not known whether the “store in store” supermarket will be self operated or cooperate with a third party if it is spread in a large area in the later stage. If there is self operated mode, the above problems will still be encountered. China Post has been deeply engaged in the sinking market for many years, and has established cooperative relations with local farms and cooperatives in many places. The supply of agricultural products is not a problem, but opening a supermarket does not only sell agricultural products. Fresh food, drinks, leisure snacks, daily necessities and other categories are essential. If all of them adopt the third-party cooperation mode, it will become a “problem” whether to cooperate with national retail brands, or whether each post office makes its own decisions and cooperates with local supermarkets. The former may be acclimatized in some areas like the previous Baiquan supermarket, while the latter faces the problem of unified management.
Although China Post’s cross-border business has always been aimed at scenarios, aiming to drive its main business through businesses with more diversified consumption scenarios and consumption frequencies, any cross-border business has cost input, and it is impossible not to consider profit. In view of many previous cross-border experiences, China Post has re launched supermarket retailing this time. We may as well treat it with a normal mind and lower our expectations. After all, going to the post office for shopping is just like going to the post office to buy medicine and drink coffee. Market education is necessary
The retail ambition of China post can not be hidden by opening supermarkets, making community group purchases and live broadcasting
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