Redbaby Information Technology Co Ltd, one of the nation's largest online maternity and baby products retailers, plans to expand its operations and seek an overseas listing within three years.
"We plan to expand internationally from the beginning of 2008, starting with Asian countries. We're looking at Japan and South Korea, and our overseas business model will be the same as that in China," said Xu Peixin, chief executive officer of Redbaby.
The company in May asked Bob Martin, former CEO of Walmart, to be a director on its board.
The Beijing-based company is expected to double its net profit this year to 60 million yuan, on sales of 1 billion yuan. "Our sales have been growing at around 300 to 400 percent each year since we were founded in 2004," Xu said.
The company has expanded its business to include cosmetics, personal healthcare and home furnishing products.
Redbaby has branches in 16 Chinese cities, but it believes the Shanghai market has the greatest growth potential. "Sales in Shanghai have increased 100 percent this year to 100 million yuan, and we expect sales in this city to surpass Beijing as the largest market for Redbaby within three years," Xu said.
Xu said the company plans to improve management efficiency and is considering boosting its profile through newspaper and TV advertising.
The retailer has more than 1 million customers, around 60 percent of whom are from referrals, according to Xu.
Its products are priced 5 to 10 percent lower than those sold in supermarkets, on average. "We've cut our operational costs 3 percent lower than supermarkets," Xu said.
Redbaby has its own logistics team of around 700 and local warehouses of over 30,000 sq m. It has also set up a "family committee" system on its website, which responds to customer feedback and complaints.
The retailer was established in March 2004 and has received $35 million from three venture investors. "The venture capital and our investors' experience has helped us to obtain market share quickly," Xu said.
The company now has around 30 percent market share in the nation's major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.