Major Chinese online retailers are showing slower growth, while brick-and-mortar stores are actively revamping their offerings to meet shopper demand, according to the latest industry figures.
Convenience stores stood out with strong growth, while the majority of brick-and-mortar retailers saw higher sales year-over-year thanks to continued incentives.
Combined sales of physical goods from the country’s top 100 retailers rose 14% to 12.1 trillion yuan ($1.77 trillion), according to a joint report by the General Chamber of Commerce of China and the National Trade Information Center. trade from China.
Retailers have actively adapted to new goods, services, models and formats to exploit and create new consumer demand. This offset some of the negative impact of the pandemic outbreak.
Four major online players among the top 100 retailers saw a 19.3% increase in sales, up from 30.1% in 2020, but they contributed up to 77.8% of total transactions, up from 74.5 % one year earlier.
Excluding major online retailers, sales at the remaining 96 retailers fell 0.8% from a 0.2% drop a year ago.
A total of 67 of the 96 brick-and-mortar retail businesses reported year-over-year sales growth, and their combined transaction increased by 13.6%.
Department stores, convenience stores and malls contributed the majority of the growth, with convenience stores posting the largest annual sales increase of 22%.
Physical retailers are taking advantage of their offline locations to use as warehouses and fulfillment centers to offer so-called “instant retail”.
A separate report released earlier this year by the China Chain Store & Franchise Association said up to 78.5% of retailers saw an increase in online sales, while 68% of supermarkets saw a decrease in foot traffic.
No less than 72% of retail businesses further increased their number of physical outlets with 1,577 new openings and 891 closings.
More than 90% of retailers expect to maintain stable expansion or development, according to the survey which covered 79 major retail companies with a total of more than 20,000 physical outlets.