(Yicai Global) Sept. 19 -- Gome Retail Holdings, one of China's largest privately owned home appliance makers, has jumped on the new retail bandwagon to go digital and local at the same time.
Nearly 300 stores in southern China will fully embrace the integration between physical stores and online services by Sept. 24, Song Linlin, general manager of South China region, told Yicai Global yesterday.
During the upcoming mid-autumn festival and a national holiday in the first week of October, customers can skip the lines by placing orders online with the help of shop attendants. Clients may also find after sales service through Gome's mobile application.
The biggest obstacle to digitization is that Gome stores' clerks are generally at a mature age which makes technical training slower, Mei Dunjian, assistant to general manager of Gome's Guangzhou branch said, adding that the company will solve the problem by making the technology easier to use.
Gome is also working on artificial intelligence and automation. In August, the Hong Kong-based firm opened a robotic warehouse in the eastern city of Tianjin and southern Guangzhou. The company's smart machines are nearly three times more effective than humans in picking products, which translates to a 35 percent reduction in labor cost.
Editor: Emmi Laine