The Secret to Supermarket Success in China

Created: 2012-10-03 13:12 EST

Category: Business
China’s grocery stores have stiff competition. Fresh food markets are a facet of Chinese culture and fresh, cheap food straight from the farm is the standard at most farmers markets. But finding the same great quality deals is not what China's supermarkets are known for.
That may be why big supermarkets like Walmart and Carrefour are struggling to make a profit. But for Taiwan-based company RT-Mart, profits are booming.
[Philip Smiley, Kantar Retail, Asia Pacific, CEO]: 
"I think it's probably easier to say what's right with RT Mart than what's wrong with WalMart. We know that in China Fresh food drives traffic to stores. People go daily to buy their meat, poultry and seafood. RT Mart does the best job of that in the market in terms of product quality, display, staff, cleanliness."
One thing RT Mart understands is shoppers’ culture. The store gets its produce straight from the source and retains the feel of a Chinese wet market.
[Yao Jinghua, Customer]:
"The eggs here are fresh because the turnover is fast and the prices are slightly cheaper than the wet market."
The other concept RT Mart has mastered is good prices. In an interview with Common Wealth Magazine, CEO Peter Huang says, “Pricing decisions are at the root of managing and managing depends on your will.”
And that helps shopper make their decisions. 
[Yao Jinghua, Customer]:
"I don't like Wal-Mart because it's not convenient. Their products are good, but it's relatively expensive. Yeah, more expensive. Here you can get good discounts with the membership card."
That may explain why RT Mart looks like this, while Walmart looks like this at roughly the same time of day.