Chinese customers can now order from US Sam's Club stores

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO Markets Associated Press

Wal-Mart is letting online customers in China order from its Sam's Club stores in the U.S. for the first time to cater to China's increasingly affluent, well-traveled shoppers.

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It's Wal-Mart's latest attempt to boost growth in China since it sold its online business in the country to JD, China's No. 2 e-commerce site, in June 2016. The U.S. retailer has a 12 percent stake in JD and hopes working with the homegrown company will boost its performance in China. Getting China right is key to bolstering Wal-Mart's global online business.

About 200 products from Sam's Clubs stores will initially be available for Sam's Club customers in China to order online via JD's website, expanding to 700 this year, says Rebecca Lui, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. The company is focusing on personal care, baby supplies and nutritional supplies that are mostly not available in China. Products for sale include Aveeno moisturizers and Waterpik Ultra and Cordless Plus Water Flossers.

Sam's Club has sold products on JD.com since October 2016, drawn from the stock in its 15 physical stores in China.

Wal-Mart itself also operates more than 400 stores in China.

The company is also tweaking its partnership with JD's delivery service, Daojia, to guarantee one-hour delivery, down from two hours, and expanding the number of stores where delivery is available. It expects to reach 180 stores this year.