Revenue: RMB 56.8 billion (US$8.9 billion)
Number of stores: 3192
Commenced in 1991, Lianhua Supermarket Holdings is a nationwide retail chain operator owned by the state-owned enterprise Bailian Group based in Shanghai.
In 2020, Lianhua recorded a 4% growth in annual revenue to RMB 56.8 billion (US$8.9 billion).
Although its store locations dropped slightly by 4.8%, Lianhua still has some of the broadest market reach in the top ten list with 3192 outlets spanning 20 provinces and municipalities from northeastern Heilongjiang to southwestern Yunnan.
Lianhua runs three retail segments including hypermarkets “Century Mart”, supermarkets “Lianhua Supermarket” and “Hualian Supermarket”, as well as convenience stores “Quik (Kuaike)”. Lianhua also runs two premium market brands, “CiTYLiFE” and “Green&Health” in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang in province.
Lianhua is the first supermarket chain operating in Shanghai, a financial hub in China known for its strong spending power. Now almost half of Lianhua’s network of stores is centred in Shanghai with 1,251 supermarkets and 31 hypermarkets locations in the city.
Lianhua started to expand into second- and third-tier cities in 2009 when it set up hypermarkets in Jiangsu of eastern-central province through its brand “Century Mart”.
In 2018, China’s leading e-commerce giant Alibaba bought 18% stakes of Lianhua and became its second largest shareholder, a move to tap into Lianhua’s wide distribution network in China when online and offline retail are converging.