(Yicai Global) Jan. 15 -- Suning Commerce Group Co. [SHE:002024], a leading home appliance retailer headquartered in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, is to rename itself as Suning.Com Co. to highlight its new strategic positioning as a 'smart retail' brand.
"Suning was originally a brick and mortar concern, a traditional retailer, but about 7 years ago we started transitioning from becoming a traditional offline retailer to an online plus offline retailer. We are now a leading online retailer in China , in online plus offline. Going forward, as we are entering an AI era , we are also transforming into a smart retailer," Joshua Xiang, Suning's senior vice president of R&D told Yicai Global at digital and tech marketing conference China Connect last July.
The firm has successfully transformed its core businesses by synergistically integrating internet technologies with offline sales channels, it said in a statement yesterday, and the board of directors have decided on the new name to emphasize the change in core businesses and the successful transition.
Originally named Suning Appliance Co., the firm was renamed Suning Commerce Group Co. [SHE002024] in 2013 following business expansion and a transition toward e-commerce.
Suning was founded in 1990 as a household electric appliance retail chain. In 2009, it unveiled an e-commerce site, Suning.com, and increased business lines to include consumer electronics, consumer goods and household supplies.
Chinese internet behemoth Alibaba Group Holding [NYSE:BABA] became the retailer's second largest shareholder after its founder Zhang Jindong, following a CNY28.3 billion (USD4.38 billion) equity investment in 2015. The firm hopes to achieve a sales figure of CNY300 billion by 2020. It came in at 485th place on the 2017 Fortune 500 list.