BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced today that it has reached an agreement to increase its investment in the holding company of Yihaodian, a fast-growing eCommerce website in China, to bring Walmart's total ownership stake to approximately 51 percent. Closing of the transaction is subject to Chinese government regulatory approval.
Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 180,000 SKUs and has achieved a significant position in online grocery sales, as well as in categories such as baby/mom, consumer electronics and apparel. With 5,400 employees and an existing logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu, Yihaodian is serving a growing customer base with same-day and next-day delivery of essential daily items at competitive prices.
Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, said, "This investment further enables Walmart to deliver a superb customer experience to Chinese consumers that are already connected to the world through smart phones and social media. We are on track to create the next generation of eCommerce, offering the latest in online innovations to give our customers a unique shopping experience."
"We are very impressed with Yihaodian's strong management team, solid competence in supply chain management and, like Walmart, they are committed to outstanding service to their customers," Ashe continued. "Our further investment in Yihaodian demonstrates that we are committed to investing in China in a key growth industry and developing all that goes with it: logistics, infrastructure, innovative talent and new technologies that will help China meet its development goals. In addition to contributing to China's eCommerce goals, with our increased investment in Yihaodian, we are pleased to be able to further contribute to China's domestic consumption, help stabilize prices, and advance expansion in the middle and western regions."
Gang Yu, co-founder and chairman of Yihaodian, said, "Walmart not only brings us nearly 50 years of retailing experience and history, but also innovative technology and eCommerce solutions that will help us better meet our customers' needs. Their excellence in supply chain will enable us to improve our customer experience and operational efficiency."
Junling Liu, co-founder and CEO of Yihaodian, said, "More than an investment of funds, Walmart will share its knowledge and technology together with its best-in-class practices in retail and transfer them to Yihaodian's existing organization, leveraging these synergies with our local market expertise to deliver enhanced product offerings, lower prices and a better shopping experience for our customers."
Ruisheng Sheng, spokesperson for Ping An Group, said, "Ping An welcomes the investment from Walmart. We continue to be a strategic investor in this exciting eCommerce business. With Walmart's and Ping An's strategic partnership and with the vision and leadership of the current management, we believe that Yihaodian will better serve Chinese consumers."
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 10,000 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
Launched in 2008, Yihaodian has become one of the leading B2C e-commerce companies in China. Offering more than 180,000 products, Yihaodian runs logistics centers in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu, along with delivery stations in 34 cities across China. Yihaodian is one of the fastest growing companies in China, and has earned first place for Deloitte Technology Fast500 Asia Pacific and first place for China Entrepreneur Magazine's Future Stars of China Enterprises in 2011. Through innovation, Yihaodian is committed to bringing its customers a new lifestyle of one-stop online shopping and services with superior experience. For more information, please visit www.yihaodian.com.
About Ping An Group
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd (Hong Kong Stock Exchange under stock code "2318"& Shanghai Stock Exchange under "601318") was established in 1988 in Shekou, Shenzhen. The Group is the first insurance company in China to have a shareholding structure. Today it has developed into an integrated financial services conglomerate with three core businesses: insurance, banking, and investment. Ping An was ranked No.147 in Forbes' Global 2000 league table, No.107 in The Financial Times Global 500 list, and No.328 in Fortune Magazine's Global 500 Leading Companies ranking and No.1 among China's non-State owned enterprises. For more information please visit www.pingan.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.