Changyu unveils major e-commerce push

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Chinese wine giant Changyu is investing heavily in e-commerce to take advantage of an expected surge in online wine sales in China, the company has said.

Image: Zhou Hongjiang, general manager of Changyu placed the first order on www.jiuxianfeng.com at the launch ceremony

The 100-year-old Chinese wine and spirit producer announced the launch of an online platform called ‘Pioneer Wine (jiuxianfeng.com)’ during the recent China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF), China's biggest alcohol trade fair.

The launch reflects the ‘booming market of online wine sales in China’, said Liu Shilu, general manager of the Electronic Commerce Company of Changyu Pioneer Wine Company. According to Vinexpo, online wine sales in the country hit CNY ¥7.3bn (£700m) in 2013, double the amount of 2012.

‘Young people are the key new wine consumers at the moment, who are also the driving force of online shopping.’ Liu told DecanterChina.com, ‘We have tested online sales channels on a smaller scale for several years, and have been successful. (With jiuxianfeng.com) we aim to become one of the leading wine e-commerce platforms in the next 3-5 years.’

However, added Liu, currently the group’s sales are still mainly relying on its traditional channels.

Changyu’s own alcohol products occupy the majority of jiuxianfeng.com’s portfolio. The company also sells a number of high-end imported wines, including Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild and Cheval Blanc, priced between CNY¥1,966-26,999.

With a huge amount of vertical online wine sales platforms already competing in the Chinese market, Zhou Hongjiang, general manager of the company, stressed that the strength of jiuxianfeng.com lies in its access to Changyu’s distribution channels, which ‘covers every province throughout China’.

Liu said the company plans to expand its number of store from 200 to 1,000 throughout China. Jiuxianfeng.com in turn will provide an ‘O2O' (online to offline) service, allowing customers to check store stock levels and then purchase offline in person, or order online and have the wines delivered from the nearest store.

‘We are very positive about the long-term development of wine e-commerce,’ Liu told DecanterChina.com, ‘and have made e-commerce one of the core development strategies of Changyu in the future.’

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