Walmart entered Chinese retail in 1996 and has been the symbol of modernity for the Chinese middle class. Recent years, however, have been troubling for the retail giant in $ 5-Trillion Chinese retail market- with declining profits and changing buyer preferences.
Some of the challenges:
- The older generation preferring the unorganised sector for regular purchase over large stores
- The younger generation moving on to ease of e-commerce (rise of JD) and quick home deliveries
- The Chinese buying behaviour dependent on small purchases multiple times a week unlike the American habit of stocking for the long week
- Growing sales from Sam’s Club where the earnings from per-dollar revenue are small.