Alibaba opens first physical store in Europe

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AliExpress has opened its first ever bricks-and-mortar store in Europe as it continues to shift operations outside of its home market.

Alibaba’s international arm, which trades in over 220 countries, has opened an 8000sq ft physical store in the Xanadu shopping centre in greater Madrid, selling around 1000 products from over 60 brands.

The new store will offer shoppers the latest technologies available on its platform, including electric scooters, smartphones, headphones and autonomous robots.

READ MORE: Alibaba delays $15bn Hong Kong listing amid violent protests

This comes as the Chinese ecommerce giant seeks to dramatically expand its international retail operations to offset slowing growth in its domestic retail market, while hedging its bets should the ongoing trade war between the US and China continue to escalate.

Spain is Alibaba’s third largest international market after Russia and the US, and described by the retailer as a “gateway to Europe”.

“Spain is an important country for the group, where the largest number of customers in both volume and value is now concentrated”, Alibaba’s Spain and Portugal operations director Rubén Bautista said.

“For the Alibaba Group, it was as strategic choice to bet on Spain, because it’s the gateway to Europe.”

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