Top 10 supermarkets in China (pic: Vino Joy News)

Top 10 supermarkets in China (pic: Vino Joy News)

Over 40% of off-trade wine sales in China come from supermarkets and hypermarkets, and here are the country's top 10 biggest operators that should be on your radar.

10. Zhongbai Warehouse

Zhongbai Warehouse (pic: Zhongbai Warehouse)
Zhongbai Warehouse (pic: Zhongbai Warehouse)

Base: Wuhan, Hubei province

Revenue: RMB 23.7 billion (US$3.7 billion)

Number of stores: 898

Based in Wuhan of Hubei province in central China, Zhongbai Warehouse (中百倉儲) is a chain retail enterprise established in 1994 by Zhongbai Holdings Group aiming to fill the retail chain void in second and third tier cities. 

Serving both high-end fresh produce to everyday consumer goods, today Zhonghai Holdings Group operates 898 stores across China through Zhongbai Warehouse.

Its flagship supermarket chain is Zhongbai Warehouse, which has been merged with Zhongbai Supermarket in 2021, bringing its total number from195 to 898. Together they sell 15 major categories of commodities with more than 20,000 varieties including fresh food, daily necessities, household appliances, household items, clothing and more.

Zhongbai Warehouse's foodmart in China(pic: Zhongbai website)
Zhongbai Warehouse’s foodmart in China(pic: Zhongbai website)

Along with Zhongbai Warehouse, the Group runs multiple chain serving rural and township consumer groups mainly in Hubei, including fresh produce stores “Zhongbai Lin Li Sheng Xian” (中百邻里生鲜), convenience store chain “Zhongbai Hao Bang’ (中百好邦)” and hot pot ingredients market “Xian Xiang” (鲜香). 

In 2016, Zhongbai signed a deal with Japan’s well-known convenience store franchise chain Lawson to open stores in Hubei. Lawson runs about 4,312 stores in China at the end of November 2021. Zhongbai Warehouse has also partnered with China’s leading e-commerce platform in 2015 to provide online-to-offline (O2O) services and promised to deliver products within two hours.

Now the Zhongbai Group is expanding its market reach to high-end consumer groups with the opening of premium supermarket “Zhongbai Life Theatre” (中百生活剧场) in Wuhan in 2018

The new supermarket offers top national brands, and more than 40% of the products are imported from 35 countries. It also features a range of high-tech services including self-service cashier counters and facial-recognition payment.

Since the first outbreak of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan in 2020, Wuhan-based Zhongbai Group’s sales performance was affected by store closures and commodity price limits that year.

The sales revenue of Zhongbai Holdings Group was down by 15.3% to RMB 23.7 billion (US$3.7 billion). Its retail store coverage dropped by 0.1% to 898 stores.

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