Hema Kicks Off 24-Hour Delivery Service

Hema supermarkets in Beijing and Shanghai don’t even need to be open for Chinese consumers to get what they want, the Alibaba Group-owned enterprise announced over the weekend.

Now, all 25 locations in those cities have launched round-the-clock delivery service.

Users of the New Retail-driven mobile app who live within a 3-kilometer radius of a store can still get the same “in as fast as 30 minutes” service offered during the day, but now between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. as well.

“We found that New Retail doesn’t only merge online with offline, but also connects day and night,” Hema CEO Hou Yi said during a press event in Shanghai on Saturday.

The new offering includes most items in the store, except for some fresh produce. Also, cooked meals, which are a big draw for Hema supermarkets, will be available for delivery until 1 a.m.

The move follows an expansion of the products available at Hema as well as new categories, such as the launch of an adult channel last month.

“There are definitely consumer demands that are specific to nighttime,” Hou said.

Overnight online shopping is not uncommon among Chinese consumers. According to Alibaba, over 80 million users of its Taobao and Tmall e-commerce sites visit between midnight and 4 a.m., most of whom are women over 30.