By Hong Kong Newsroom
HONG KONG (Dec 14) -- China's largest retailer JD.Com said on Thursday it has tied up with real estate developer China Overseas Land & Investment to open "hundreds" of unmanned convenience stores across the country.
The space for new stores will be provided by the real estate company, while JD will use its technology and provide support in operating the stores, the retailer said in a statement.
JD had in October started testing its service, which makes use of facial- and image-recognition capabilities, at its headquarters in Beijing. That store is seeing average daily customer flow of around 1,000, and roughly 70% repeat purchases, it added.
JD's tie-up with China Overseas Land is in line with the shift in focus of mainland ecommerce companies seeking to tap into the brick-and-mortar customer base, using big data and sensing technologies that power self-driving cars. Earlier this year, Alibaba launched Tao Cafe, a cashier-free coffee shop.
U.S. ecommerce major Amazon.com has also been testing its cashier-less store called Amazon Go that lets consumers walk in, pick up what they want and pay for them without standing in a queue.
JD said it is also working with China Overseas Land to develop a smart city solution that will integrate the retailer's unmanned convenience store service with its automated pharmacy and autonomous vehicles for last-mile delivery.
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