Chinese JD.com opens the first “robotics shops” in Europe

JD.com opened two physical stores in the Netherlands under the Ochama brand. The Chinese e-commerce giant says stores will be cashierless with robots helping pick and sort items.

JD.com

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has opened two retail stores in the Netherlands that it says will be staffed with robots preparing and delivering packages.

The Ochama-branded “robotic shops” are located in the cities of Leiden and Rotterdam and mark JD.com’s first foray into Europe with brick and mortar locations. It highlights the Chinese giant’s ambitions to expand beyond China.

JD.com said shoppers can use the Ochama app to order products ranging from food to beauty and home furnishings. They can then go to the store where automated vehicles and robotic arms will pick and sort the orders. When a buyer visits a store, they can scan a barcode on their app and their orders will be delivered to them via a conveyor belt.

Orders can also be delivered.

JD.com’s entry into Europe marks the start of a potential challenge for Amazon. The US e-commerce giant has launched its own cashierless grocery stores called Amazon Go in the US and Amazon Fresh in the UK

The Chinese e-commerce company has announced plans to open two more stores in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Ochama stores combine JD.com’s focus on logistics and e-commerce. In China, the company operates its own logistics branch and also plans to expand internationally. JD.com also operates a huge e-commerce business in the world’s second-largest economy.

JD.com still derives most of its revenue from China, but in recent years it has expanded its presence overseas. The company operates an online shopping site called Joybuy.com for international customers. It owns an e-commerce joint venture in Thailand and is also the largest shareholder of the Vietnamese shopping platform Tiki.

In an interview in November, Xin Lijun, the newly appointed general manager of JD’s retail operations, told CNBC that the company was carrying out “further strategic analysis in Vietnam and Europe” as potential locations to expand.

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct name of Amazon cashier-less grocery stores in the UK

.

Leave a Comment