Thai Union Inks Seafood Supply Deal with Win-Chain in PRC
Thai Union Group executives signed an agreement with Alibaba Group’s Shanghai Win-Chain Supply Chain Management Co. on March 12 to become strategic partners in supplying the Bangkok-headquartered seafood company’s products to the Chinese market, both online and offline.
Win-Chain agreed to connect Thai Union to Alibaba’s ecosystem of retail and foodservice channels, and help it set up a flagship store on the Tmall fresh online platform to promote Thai Union’s brands to Chinese consumers.
“Asia, especially China, is very important to our future growth, with the seafood market expanding steadily. We are very pleased to join hands with Win-Chain to provide our highest quality seafood to the Chinese market,” commented Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive officer of the Thai Union Group.
Win-Chain is an aggregated global sourcing platform for food products, focusing on a data-driven approach to facilitate China’s new retailing and catering operations and enable omni-channels in the PRC market. It is directly connected with multiple retail channels within the Alibaba ecosystem, as well as retail, foodservice, and wholesales channels outside of the Alibaba network.
Thai Union Group, meanwhile, reported a 3.7 percent year-on-year rise for fourth quarter sales in 2018 as it generated a record THB 36 billion in turnover. Q4 operating profit improved 55.2% year-on-year to THB 1.50 billion, the highest quarterly margin in two years. The company credited performances from its frozen and chilled seafood businesses, augmented by the pet care segment, for contributing to the strong performance with price adjustments and operational improvements. Alibaba’s Tmall platform continued to extend its B2C market leadership and consumer wallet share last year. On the retail front, the company’s proprietary Freshippo grocery chain (formerly Hema) expanded its footprint. As of December 31, 2018, there were 109 self-operated Freshippo stores in China, primarily situated in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.