How Alibaba's Freshippo adapted to keep delivering in virus-hit China


A delivery worker for Alibaba's Hema Fresh wearing a face mask rides on an escalator behind a man at a shopping complex in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Hubei province, China, Feb 26. — Reuters

SHANGHAI: As people in China retreated indoors in late January to avoid the coronavirus, Alibaba's supermarket chain Freshippo faced a dilemma: online orders for fruit were soaring but supplies were low.

To ease the crunch, Freshippo asked staff to rip up bulk fruit boxes, originally prepared as Lunar New Year gift sets, break them up and sell them individually to serve more locked-down customers.

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