The e-commerce platform has partnered with luxury goods holding company, Richemont, to set up new online stores and mobile apps in Net-A-Porter’s luxury format on Alibaba’s Tmall.
In a move that’s expected to strengthen Richemont’s hold on the luxury e-commerce market, the Swiss Cartier owner has signed a deal with Alibaba to give the Chinese platform rights to sell $100,000 watches and equally expensive jewellery on its platform.
As part of the deal, Alibaba will use Richemont’s Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter e-commerce formats to launch a new series of mobile shopping apps and online stores for the luxury retail market on its Tmall platform.
According to Richemont’s Chairman, Johann Rupert, Alibaba is legions ahead of any other platform in the luxury goods arena, making it the perfect platform to expand Richemont’s digital sales efforts.
“There’s not a luxury-goods company in the world that can catch up with where Alibaba is at,” he told the media in a statement. “We simply don’t have the tools.”
Richemont is reportedly looking to utilise its new partnership with Alibaba to sell its Vacheron Constantin and IWC Schaffhausen watches across China, without having to open boutiques in the country’s key cities.
Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang believes the deal is a smart one, as Chinese shoppers are expected to make up half of the world’s global luxury market by 2025. The partnership also comes at a good time, as Chinese customs authorities are tightening regulations surrounding luxury imports from abroad.
Smaller luxury goods retailers that currently sell on Richemont’s suite of e-commerce platforms are also expected to benefit from the deal, as they will also have the ability to reach new Chinese consumers.
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