Alibaba has furthered its physical retail footprint after it invested another billion dollars into projects to develop its so-called “new retail” strategy which combines online and offline. The Chinese firm, the dominant e-commerce player in its country, gobbled up a 15 percent stake in Beijing Easyhome Furnishing for RMB 5.45 billion, or around $867 million, and pumped $486 million into a big data retail firm in two deals announced over the weekend. Beijing Easyhome operates 223 physical home furnishing and DIY-style stores across 29 provinces in China, which it claims makes it the country’s second largest in its field. The second outlay is for a 38 percent stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology, Reuters reports, which works with hotels and high-street retailers on data-related services to increase customer footfall, grow engagement and more. Read more at Tech Crunch.