Wumei Holdings has acquired a 70% stake in B&Q China as it dips its toes in the DIY sector, having previously focused on supermarkets and department stores.

B&Q China has sold a 70% stake to Wumei

  • Wumei Holdings was founded in 1994 by Zhang Wenzhong and is headquartered in Beijing.
  • The company’s key business is the Wumart supermarket and the latter’s ambition is to be the Walmart of China.
  • Wumei’s other businesses include Beijing’s Xinhua department store, the Jingbei shopping mall in Beijing, Merrymart, Xinhua department store, Zhejiang Gongxiao supermarket and Laodafang supermarket.
  • In total, Wumei’s retail network consists of 650 supermarkets and 10 department stores in northern, eastern and western China and has a sales area of over 4.6m sq feet.
  • Zhang initially aimed to have 1,000 Wumart stores by 2010, but by 2013 the store estate stood at 547 stores with revenues of Rmb18.9bn (£1.95bn).
  • Zhang was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 2008 for bribery and fraud.
  • Zhang is a self-made billionaire who developed an IT system for retailers while at Stanford University. After failing to find US retailers to take on his IT system he returned to China to open his own retail chain.
  • Wumart floated on the Hong Kong stock market in 2003 when revenue for the same fiscal year reached Rmb1.57bn.
  • Zhang increases his stake in Wumart to 53.4% from 40.9% in March 2014.
  • Wumei acquired a 75% stake in Merrymart in 2006, one of the largest retailers in Beijing at the time.
  • Wumart entered the Zhejiang Province in 2008 via the acquisition of Zhejiang Gongxiao supermarket.
  • Wumart is ranked as the fastest growing retailer in China by Deloitte in 2013 and 4th quickest growing global retailer.