PostMart model means bet­ter days on the hori­zon

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

track of her trad­ing — it also serves as her cash reg­is­ter.

Many of her items, such as oil-sugar candies, stopped be­ing popular around 20 years ago, but here they are still be­ing sold in her store.

James Luo, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of PostMart, a project backed by China Hori­zon Man­age­ment LLC, is in the shop and asks the re­porter a very telling ques­tion: “Do you no­tice how many brands you are us­ing your­self, that are avail­able here?” The an­swer is not many.

“That is our op­por­tu­nity,” he said. “We want to make what ur­ban res­i­dents are al­ready us­ing be­come popular here too.”

PostMart is jointly run by China Post and the US-based China Hori­zon In­vest­ments Group, and is a hy­brid re­tailer, with strong lo­gis­tics net­works and in­ter­na­tional re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence, and has been work­ing hard to es­tab­lish a grow­ing pres­ence in the of­ten com­pli­cated Chi­nese ru­ral mar­ket.

Luo is asked by the store owner how she could man­age to get more de­liv­er­ies of medi­u­mand high-qual­ity di­a­per brands. With tap wa­ter not nearly as avail­able in vil­lages as in cities, and heat­ing in the win­ter far from wide­spread ei­ther, keep­ing cot­ton di­a­pers clear is not easy.

Stand­ing next to the shop’s bev­er­age counter, the owner said vil­lagers have high recog­ni­tion of well-known brands, such as Coca-Cola. In fact, “if they haven’t heard of the brand, they are not in­ter­ested”, she said.

It is not price that de­ter­mineswhether the lo­cal peo­ple can buy a can of Coke here, it is re­li­able sup­ply and avail­abil­ity, said Luo. “If adding 15 cents to the price means that wa­ter, for in­stance, can al­ways be in stock, then the buy­ers are happy.”

How­ever, onany given­day in this small shop, 40 per­cent of its most popular items are out of stock, and the rea­son is sim­ple.

“They have no re­li­able sup­ply chain,” ex­plained Luo.

Rapid ur­ban­iza­tion, con­tin­u­ous migration to the cities, and farm­ers’ leas­ing out their land to the ma­jor farm­ing

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