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Alibaba VP: Retail Stores Will Change Not Die

Alibaba vice-president says brick and mortar stores will not disappear because of the Internet, but will change radically

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Mar.18

Gao Hongbing, vice-president of China’s largest online retail group, Alibaba, delivered a speech where he said that retail stores have lost their previous glory, but will not die and instead will have to change the way they operate. 

Traditional industry focused on the manufacturing supply chain, while conversely, noted Mr Gao, the Internet has changed business logic from B2C to C2B, paying attention to the consumers, adding that consumer data is crucial; otherwise, the business will fail.  

In terms of business channels, marketing is no longer the core segment of retail stores, since Internet platforms and online business have connected the whole process from production, marketing to consumption, meaning retailers should extend the supply chain and improve its service offering across marketing, wholesaling, manufacturing and design.