Walmart China reopens its stores

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supermarket

Walmart China reopens but can it regain consumer trust?
Walmart China reopens but can it regain consumer trust?
Walmart China’s doors will reopen to the public today, following the two week closures of its stores during an investigation into allegedly mislabelling regular pork as organic.

The ten stores in the Chongqing province were closed by the government authorities on October 10 while inquiries took place.

At the time, the retail giant said: “The closure of the stores in Chongqing for the next 15 days will allow us time to focus on implementing corrective actions.”

Last week the CEO of Walmart China, Ed Chan, along with its VP of human resources, Clara Wong, resigned during the probe.

It was stated that Chan’s resignation was for personal reasons and unrelated to the closures.

Returning customers as well as trust?

After the on-going investigations, many will be watching to see exactly how the supermarket giant implements this new plan and if it can recover the image and trust that it had built with Chinese consumers.

James Roy, senior analyst at China Market Research, told FoodNavigator-Asia that larger supermarkets were a first choice amongst Chinese consumers as they are considered to have trustworthy supply chains.

At the time of the closures, Roy said that Walmart’s recovery would very much depend on how the company responds.

He said that it would be possible for the company to bounce back but that the closures will have certainly ‘hurt’ the overall trust of the brand as well as its reputation.

The new interim CEO, Scott Price, who is also president and CEO of Walmart Asia, however, has a very positive focus on the future of the company’s work in China.

He said: “We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary in China, and there is a lot to celebrate about our business here. China is a very important market for Walmart and our latest five-year plan will provide strong opportunities to the retail industry.”

Related topics: Policy, Food safety, China, East Asia

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