RT-Mart’s new format: RT-Mart Super

Jiong-Jiong Yu
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 10 September 2020

China's largest retailer, Sun Art Group, a joint venture between Auchan and the Ruentex group, opened its first supermarket in September.

Developing a multi-channel and multi-format business

On 1 September, RT-Mart's first supermarket, RT-Mart Super, is opened in Changzhou. This is RT-Mart's first medium-sized store.

With a sales area of 3,900 Sq m, the store carries more than 1,500 SKUs, covering main categories such as fresh, dairy, chilled, ambient as well as general merchandise products.

The group is actively seeking ways to diversify from its hypermarket-dominant business, as grocery shoppers in China are gravitating towards smaller and more compact stores in recent years, partially driven by China’s urbanisation.

The opening of RT-Mart Super is the retailer’s latest move in developing a multi-channel and multi-format business. The retailer also launched two other new formats recently: RT-mini (new convenience format) and RH Lavia (high-end boutique store).

Highlights of RT-Mart Super

  • Daily Fresh Produce: fresh produce is the store’s key focus. No overnight products will be sold. An eye-catching notice board that states:
    • 20% off from 19:00 pm onwards
    • 40% off from 20:00 onwards
    • 50% off from 21:00 onwards
    • All vegetables are free from 22:00 (for members only)
  • Value-added service and attention to details:
    • Recipes, product information and cooking suggestions can be found next to the relevant products
    • The store even has racks of magnifying glasses installed for shoppers’ convenience if they would like to examine the details more closely
    • The meat counter offers bespoke sausage-making service, which is quite unique in a supermarket environment
    • There are service bells installed in case shoppers need assistance
    • There is a pet nursery facility near the entrance for looking after the pets while the owners are inside the store shopping
  • Private label goods: the range includes bakery, snacks and RT-Mart Daily Fresh Milk, which is the same as Daily Fresh Produce, only the same-day products are sold to ensure quality and freshness
  • Optimised range based on data analysis:
    • Premium quality pork, beef, the palm-sized abalone and white prawns are destination products that drive store footfall
    • The store selected products based on rigorous data analysis, covering both the breath and depth of the shopper needs

Source: RT-Mart

Evolving towards smaller format stores

"For RT-Mart, the establishment of this medium-sized store is an attempt to optimise and improve offline property efficiency and commodity efficiency. It is too early to say whether this format will become the main force of RT-Mart. Having said that, supermarkets that are of 3,000-4,000 square meters are rare but emerging in China. This represents a great opportunity for transforming hypermarkets. Our effort is more likely to be on an iterative process of test and learn. The new format will inevitably require a lot of explorations.” RT-Mart commented.