JD.com plans unstaffed stores, drones in Hong Kong

Chinese tech giant JD.com is planning to bring unstaffed shops and a drone delivery offering to Hong Kong.

JD.com is currently the second-largest e-commerce platform in China, second only to rival Alibaba.

The company hopes to mainly target its unmanned retail offering to Hong Kong fashion brands, which it hopes to connect with mainland Chinese buyers.

Some companies are already signed up to the platform including Maxim’s and Sa Sa International.

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Maxim’s Group is a leading food and beverage company which was founded in Hong Kong in 1956 and operates Asian and European restaurants as well as having licenses to chains like The Cheesecake Factory and Starbucks.

Sa Sa International is a cosmetics retail chain with over 280 stores across Asia offering around 700 brands.

According to the South China Morning Post, retail sales have “slumped” in Hong Kong over the past two years, partly due to the decline in visitor numbers from mainland China. However this year a rebound is starting to be seen.

Ben Chuk, Senior Business Development Manager for JD.com, told the news outlet: “As JD.com transforms itself beyond an e-commerce platform, we will start opening our smart retail technologies to Hong Kong clients, especially to bigger corporations and close partners. For instance, unstaffed convenience stores that have already been in operation in the mainland – we are exploring the possibility to partner with Hong Kong brands in setting up such stores”.

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