JLM Pacific Epoch:

Alibaba Group‘s consumer-focused e-commerce site Taobao.com has began franchising activities for an offline retail chain, “Tao 1 Stop” (Tao 1 Zhan), in more than 20 large and medium-sized cities, reports Pcpop.com quoting a related company director. Taobao.com has opened dozens of offline franchise stores in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and is also negotiating cooperation with some convenience stores, reports 163.com.

The offline stores will focus on purchasing and catalogue sales, and customers can pick up goods at the stores three to five days after ordering online, said the Pcpop.com report. Taobao.com will not charge franchising fees for sellers with a rating of more than two hearts who are chosen from the offline store’s applicant pool, said the direct. Hearts are the lowest tier of Taobao.com’s rating system, which also includes diamonds and crowns; each rating is divided into five sublevels.