SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT), a leading global provider of commercial foodservice equipment, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with XiaoMai Store, a China based smart convenience store and Youle, a leading catering service supply chain platform in China, to develop high-output, small footprint kitchens for XiaoMai Store. In the first stage of the new partnership, XiaoMai Store has become the launch partner for Welbilt’s new Merrychef® eikon® e1s high-speed ovens with an initial order of 100 ovens, with plans to incorporate them in all XiaoMai Stores throughout China as they expand rapidly over the next three years. Eventually, these ovens will become an integral part of the connected and automated kitchens that are being developed for XiaoMai Stores.
XiaoMai Store’s innovative concept of unmanned retail sales stores is targeted at increasing accessibility to catering using a strong supply chain system and artificial intelligence. Through the capturing of real-time customer consumption and data analysis, stores are tailored to continuously optimize the products they offer.
“The traditional convenience store usually offers standard frozen products targeted at consumers looking for a fast meal. Each local XiaoMai Store is tailored more to the residents looking for variety, quality and freshness. We are pleased to be partnering with Welbilt, who can help us deliver a solution rather than just a piece of equipment,” said Conan Quan, Vice President of XiaoMai Store.
“The core of retailing is based on the consumer experience. No company has yet to change the nature of foodservice delivery through personalized foods and services. We believe that our vision of providing safe, hygienic and innovative foodservice through an intelligent system will truly enhance the consumer experience,” said Terrence Cheng, CEO of Youle.
In this strategic partnership, Welbilt, together with Youle, will help XiaoMai Store develop a solution to provide consumers with food and beverage that is comparable to what they may get at home in terms of quality, variety and taste. In addition, as stores will usually be unmanned and sometimes in remote areas, connectivity is critical to collect data and update menu options as demand and trends change.
“We are excited to be strategic partners with XiaoMai Store and Youle as they change how food is delivered to consumers. Welbilt’s fitkitchen℠ system solutions and services are ideally suited to address XiaoMai Store’s need for high-output, smaller footprint kitchens that bring together foodservice equipment, connectivity and automation. We are also delighted to have XiaoMai Store as our launch partner for the new Merrychef eikon e1s, a best-in-class high-speed oven, which was introduced at Hotelex 2018 in China,” stated Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, Welbilt’s President and CEO.
About XiaoMai Stores
XiaoMai Store was founded in April 2017 and is an intelligent box-form self-service convenience store placed in different public locations like communities, commercial areas and travel terminals. XiaoMai Store has devoted itself to create a welcoming, quality and intelligent store which stems from their love of food. XiaoMai Store supports a new and creative business model utilizing self-service and self-service scan payment method. It is a whole new lifestyle which brings the warm company and personal touch just like when we were young. In the future, there will be one XiaoMai Store for every 300 families. Predictions are that in 2020, XiaoMai Stores will serve 10,000 communities throughout China.
About Welbilt, Inc.
Welbilt, Inc. provides the world’s top chefs, premier chain operators and growing independents with industry-leading equipment and solutions. Our innovative products and solutions are powered by our deep knowledge, operator insights, and culinary expertise. We offer fully-integrated kitchen systems and our products are backed by KitchenCare® aftermarket parts and service. Headquartered in the Tampa Bay region of Florida and operating 17 manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, the company sells through a global network of over 3,500 distributors and dealers in over 100 countries. We have approximately 5,400 employees and generated sales of $1.45 billion in 2017. Our portfolio of award-winning brands includes Cleveland™, Convotherm®, Delfield®, fitkitchenSM, Frymaster®, Garland®, Kolpak®, Lincoln™, Manitowoc® Ice, Merco®, Merrychef® and Multiplex®. For more information, visit www.welbilt.com.