Layoffs loom at JD’s fresh food business as company mulls 7Fresh sale

Alibaba’s Hema is the only chain that is meeting targets.

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Layoffs loom at JD’s fresh food business as company mulls 7Fresh sale

JD is planning layoffs within its fresh food division, including offline convenience store chain 7Fresh, after the company’s 618 Shopping Festival, iFeng reports. Cuts at 7Fresh could amount in the hundreds, with employees in logistics, operations, and supervisory roles trimmed.

According to iFeng‘s sources, the e-commerce giant is also reportedly in talks with traditional retailers to sell 7Fresh, though JD maintains it is committed the current roadmap of its fresh produce convenience store.

This comes during a somewhat tumultuous time for 7Fresh. The company has already undergone a reorganization, and there were reports last month that it would be spun off from the JD Fresh division, with a potential selloff at hand.

7Fresh denied these reports after opening a new store in Beijing on May 30, though its expansion plans are still lagging far behind original plans. The company had set a target of 50 store locations by the end of 2018, with a goal of 1,000 stores by 2022, but has only managed to open 16 so far.

That said, 7Fresh isn’t alone in this regard, with Yonghui’s Super Stores and Suning’s SuFresh also failing to reach their targets for new store openings in 2018. Meituan also downsized its fresh produce footprint last month, closing three Ella Supermarket locations in Jiangsu province.

Only Alibaba’s Hema met its growth targets in 2018, reaching a total of 122 Fresh Hema locations at the end of the year.