JD.com Opens Robotic Stores in Europe; Shares Rise

One of the best Chinese stocks, JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) has opened two robotic stores in the Netherlands, the first of its kind in the retail space. Following the news, shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant rose more than 4% and ended the day up 2% at $69.60 on January 10.

Robotic Store “Ochama”

JD.com has marked its entry into Europe with the opening of two robotic stores named “Ochama”, which is a combination of the words omnichannel and amazing. With this launch, JD.com, popular for its supply chain and logistics technology, has upped the race in the online retail offerings.

The Ochama stores are manned by robots who prepare the pick-up and home delivery parcels, once orders are placed on the Ochama app. This is a subscription-based service available to members only.

Members can place their orders online, and either have them home-delivered or pick it up themselves from the stores. The stores offer an array of products in both food and non-food segments.

The warehouse is filled with different types of robots including AGV (automated ground vehicles) and robotic arms that perform different functions like sorting, picking, and packing. In the self-pickup service, customers have to scan their QR codes at the pickup counter, and watch their parcels being delivered in hand on conveyor belts.

The first two stores have opened in Leiden and Rotterdam, with two more slated for opening in Amsterdam (Diemen) and Utrecht. This is also the first time that JD.com has opened a physical retail store in Europe.

Company Comments

Pass Lei, General Manager of Ochama, JD Worldwide, said, “With rich experience in retail and cutting-edge logistics technologies that the company has accumulated over the years, we aspire to create an unprecedented shopping format for customers in Europe with better price and service.”

Ochama’s Chief Operation Officer, Mark den Butter, said, “Dutch people are passionate for innovation and a green environment, and ochama’s shopping format is designed to contribute to both aspects… There will be no queue and fewer traffic jams to do the chores as they can go for convenience, benefits, and everything in one stop at Ochama.”

Consensus View

Yesterday, HSBC analyst Cleo Zhang lowered the price target on the stock to $100 (43.7% upside potential) from $110, while maintaining a Buy rating.

Overall, the stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 13 Buys and 1 Hold. The average JD.com price target of $108.29 implies 55.6% upside potential to current levels. Meanwhile, JD shares have lost 21.4% over the past year.

Hedge Fund Activity

According to TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool, confidence in JD is currently Very Positive, as 17 hedge funds increased their cumulative holdings of the stock by 15.2 million shares in the last quarter.

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