martes, octubre 17, 2006

Wal-Mart en China

Wal-Mart, el mayor retailer del mundo, incrementa su presión en China, pasando de 66 tiendas a más de 150, con el anuncio de la compra de la cadena taiwanesa Trust-Mart:
The move represents a large step for Wal-Mart’s strategy in China, allowing the American retailer to more than double its presence in a country that, despite its size and growing middle class, remains largely untapped by foreign retailers.
Trust-Mart has more than 100 stores with 30,000 employees in more than 20 Chinese provinces, but it operates mainly at the low end of the supermarket chains. One challenge for Wal-Mart will to determine where it will position itself in the retailing market.
La compra iguala la presencia de Carrefour, y abre una fuerte competencia entre los principales operadores:

The acquisition is likely to trigger an intense battle among foreign and domestic retailers to gain a strong foothold in the world’s fastest-growing economy.
The deal puts Wal-Mart neck-and-neck in China with Carrefour, the giant French retailer, which also bid for Trust-Mart. Wal-Mart, which has only 66 stores in China compared with Carrefour’s more than 200, outbid not only Carrefour, but also Tesco of Britain and one of China’s large retailers, Lianhua.
By acquiring Trust-Mart, Wal-Mart will not only be able to match Carrefour, but also to compete with much bigger Chinese retailers, like China Resources and the Shanghai Brilliance Group, which are the country’s largest retailers with more than $3 billion in sales and more than 8,000 stores combined.
The government has opened its retail market to foreigners, but at the same time, it has also encouraged Chinese companies to merge. In one example, the Shanghai Bailian Group struck a deal with Dashang, which operates the second-largest chain store group, to create new stores.
Moreover, China’s biggest state-owned retailers and a handful of aggressive entrepreneurs are pushing to create national chains, like Beijing-based WuMart and Gome, the country’s largest consumer electronics store, which is owned by one of the country’s wealthiest men.

El incremento de la presencia de Wal-Mart, combinada con la forzosa competencia con los restantes grandes operadores, vislumbra un cambio en el modelo de retail de China:

Big retailers are fairly new in China, which for decades has been dominated by small regional chains. Indeed, China has no dominant national players in the retail market, which is why Wal-Mart and other international retailers are battling aggressively to expand there.
“China’s a very fragmented market and very diverse,” says George Svinos, head of Asia Pacific retail at KPMG’s office in Australia. “So in order to get any penetration into that market you’d need to make a big move.”
China, however, is a tricky market for American retailers. Chinese consumers spend less than Americans when they go into stores, but they shop more frequently.
The average Chinese shopper spends about $4 at Wal-Mart, compared with $20 for the average American, according to Wal-Mart.
But Wal-Mart and other retailers hope to lure the middle-class Chinese, one of the fastest-growing segments of the population. Already, middle-class shoppers crowd into Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Ikea.

Un aspecto propio de la todavía débil estructura económica china: la logística complicada:

It has had high costs in China because systems for purchasing, transportation and distribution are clogged and complicated in a country that is still largely inefficient and without a strong national highway grid.

Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Ikea...el escenario del futuro se está construyendo en Asia. Lo veremos desde qué posición?

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