In an interview with Chinese financial news outlet Shanghai Securities News, retail giant Suning highlighted the Yangtze River Delta as the company’s most important strategic market, indicating plans to build at least 2,000 smart retail outlets in the region over the next three years.
The Yangtze River Delta encompasses Shanghai, the affluent provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, and Anhui. In all, the region generated RMB 21 trillion (USD 3 trillion) in 2018, equivalent to roughly one-quarter of China’s national output.
Suning, which based in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, currently counts three research and development centers, 3,200 retail locations, and 100% coverage by its logistics network in the region. Its expansion plan, which also includes greater R&D and venture investment in addition to 2,000 new stores, is expected to cost between RMB 20 billion and RMB 30 billion.
The company’s announcement came during a high-level forum on the development of the Yangtze River Delta—the first of its kind—attended by leaders in Chinese politics, business, and research. Chinese president Xi Jinping announced the integration of the Yangtze River Delta as a national strategy to boost regional economic development last November.