BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced today that it has reached an agreement to increase its investment in the holding company of Yihaodian, a fast-growing eCommerce website in China, to bring Walmart's total ownership stake to approximately 51 percent. Closing of the transaction is subject to Chinese government regulatory approval.
Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 180,000 SKUs and has achieved a significant position in online grocery sales, as well as in categories such as baby/mom, consumer electronics and apparel. With 5,400 employees and an existing logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu, Yihaodian is serving a growing customer base with same-day and next-day delivery of essential daily items at competitive prices.
Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, said, "This investment further enables Walmart to deliver a superb customer experience to Chinese consumers that are already connected to the world through smart phones and social media. We are on track to create the next generation of eCommerce, offering the latest in online innovations to give our customers a unique shopping experience."
"We are very impressed with Yihaodian's strong management team, solid competence in supply chain management and, like Walmart, they are committed to outstanding service to their customers," Ashe continued. "Our further investment in Yihaodian demonstrates that we are committed to investing in China in a key growth industry and developing all that goes with it: logistics, infrastructure, innovative talent and new technologies that will help China meet its development goals. In addition to contributing to China's eCommerce goals, with our increased investment in Yihaodian, we are pleased to be able to further contribute to China's domestic consumption, help stabilize prices, and advance expansion in the middle and western regions."
Gang Yu, co-founder and chairman of Yihaodian, said, "Walmart not only brings us nearly 50 years of retailing experience and history, but also innovative technology and eCommerce solutions that will help us better meet our customers' needs. Their excellence in supply chain will enable us to improve our customer experience and operational efficiency."
Junling Liu, co-founder and CEO of Yihaodian, said, "More than an investment of funds, Walmart will share its knowledge and technology together with its best-in-class practices in retail and transfer them to Yihaodian's existing organization, leveraging these synergies with our local market expertise to deliver enhanced product offerings, lower prices and a better shopping experience for our customers."
Ruisheng Sheng, spokesperson for Ping An Group, said, "Ping An welcomes the investment from Walmart.