Walmart stores in China may not look like anything out of the ordinary from the outside, but the interior of the stores couldn’t be more different from its U.S. counterparts.
Chinese Walmart stores have open vats of rice and meat on display, and live fish in tanks. As the Associated Press reported last year, all of these differences were incorporated by Walmart managers to ensure that all aspects of Chinese culture were catered to — and it’s become the key to the store’s success.
Here’s a look at what it is like to shop at Walmart in China.
The first Walmart store opened in China in 1996.
The Chinese locations are easily recognized from the outside, but the interior of the stores are extremely different from American locations.
Chinese customers value freshness and prefer to inspect their meat before packaging and purchasing it.
Some shoppers even pick up raw meat to buy with their bare hands.
Here, customers shop for pieces of rabbit meat in Chongqing municipality in 2011.
Rice is stored in giant, open vats where customers can reach in and scoop it up themselves.
Customers can even fish for their own seafood right from a tank.
Now well established in China, Walmart’s Sam’s Club has introduced packaged meat and fish.
While Chinese customers generally prefer to inspect foods themselves, they trust Walmart’s reputation and high-food standards enough to adapt some Western shopping habits like pre-packaged fresh food.
About 95% of the merchandise in Chinese Walmart stores is locally sourced.
The Walmart customer pictured here shops for pork ahead of the Lunar New Year in 2012.
The stores also offer Chinese delicacies like crocodile meat.
Here, crocodiles are sold at Walmart’s first Sam’s Club store in Guangzhou in 2009.
Customers tend to avoid buying in bulk, so Walmart stores offer smaller quantities of packaged products.
Walmart also offers customers a selection of wines including Chinese brands and American imports like Sutter Home.
After several food scares, Chinese consumers are wary of where their food comes from.
To ease consumers worries about the quality of their groceries, Walmart adopted the slogan «Worry Free» in 2012.
The company stresses that efficiency and good management make every day low prices possible, not cutting corners.
Additionally, Walmart mobile testing labs travel from store to store in some regions of China to check for pesticides and to ensure good food quality.
With more than 1.3 billion people living in China, the stores can get pretty crowded.
People often have to push through crowds to get to their desired destination.
Customers can take a complimentary Walmart shuttle to and from the store.
The more Walmart adapts to the demands of foreign markets, the more successful the company will become abroad.