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Courtesy helps store prosper as trading activity rebounds

By Peng Yining and Li Peixuan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-21 08:42

Ma Dali displays one of the products he has selected for sale in his small store in Beijing on March 7. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Passing on profits

DFC is a community store for group purchases. Every day, Ma sends customers in his WeChat group a selection of discounted groceries and household items, usually 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper than other stores. Customers pay for the goods they want at the wholesale price via WeChat, and the orders are shared directly with the suppliers. The next day, the bulk order is delivered to the store for customers to pick up. This method of centralizing shipping and distribution greatly reduces the cost of last-mile delivery and overheads, creating cost savings that are passed onto the consumer.

The more Ma purchases, the bigger the discount he receives. Currently, there are four chain stores and more than 10 regular stores in Beijing whose owners buy together with Ma, making the unit price much lower than usual. The products are sourced directly from farmers, initial distributors and brands, who rent trucks and deliver the goods directly to the stores, cutting expenses from the middlemen in trade and transportation.

Moreover, the stores are in different districts, which means commodities overstocked in one store but selling well in another can be sent within an hour. The group-buying model solves problems of high logistics costs and low sales, making it a good choice for consumers.

"Business took off as people recovered from COVID-19. I aim to have 10 WeChat groups this year. Right now I'm running five groups, so I think my goals won't take long to achieve," Ma said.

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