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Companies turns to 5,000 franchisees to drive growth

China's No. 2 e-tailer takes long odds with big bet on traditional retail is opening thousands of small shops, each with about 100 sq. meters of floor space,like this one in Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning. (Photo taken by Shin Watanabe)

DALIAN, China --, China's No. 2 online retailer, is in the process of expanding its footprint in the traditional retail space despite the fact that Chinese shoppers are turning to the internet.

China's appliance sales in 2018 rose 1.9%, to 810.4 billion yuan ($117.2 billion), and are expected to increase to 829.1 billion yuan this year. Brick-and-mortar stores rang up about 6% of last year's sales, and the figure has been on the decline while that for online stores has been heading in the opposite direction.

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