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Alibaba turns sights to brick-and-mortar


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is making a play for a department store and mall operator in China.

The company made a $2.6 billion bid for Intime Retail, with a plan to take it private, reported the New York Times. Alibaba already owns a 28% stake in the company, which operates 29 department stores and 17 shopping malls in China, mainly in first- and second-tier cities.

Similar to Amazon, Alibaba believes that physical retailers will remain relevant and can be improved with technology, the report said.

“Brick-and-mortar businesses will be able to create value for consumers if they are integrated with the power of mobile reach, real-time consumer insights, and technology capability to improve operating efficiency,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO said in a news release.

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