Gucci opened its first flagship store today on Alibaba’s Tmall, an e-commerce platform for B2C online retail in China. The partnership aims to offer more than 750 million Chinese consumers on the platform an opportunity to experience and purchase items from Gucci’s fashion collections.
To join the Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Gucci marks the beginning of a deepened strategic partnership with China’s leading e-commerce platform. In addition to the fashion store, Gucci’s beauty flagship store will open in February 2021, providing Chinese consumers with exclusive access to Gucci’s full range of make-up and fragrances.
Launched in 2017, Tmall Luxury Pavilion is home to more than 200 brands with products ranging from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars. It serves as a unique platform for consumers in China and overseas to buy both domestic and international branded products.
Over the past few years, Gucci has established a strong digital ecosystem in China. In 2017, Gucci launched its Chinese website, establishing itself as a leading presence on Chinese social media platforms.
“Gucci has strategically invested in and cultivated a ‘digital first’ approach globally, including the establishment of a dedicated Chinese digital ecosystem over the past few years,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci. “Today’s announcement, therefore, represents the next step in this strategy as we provide our customers in China with an authorized, customized e-commerce experience on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion in partnership with Alibaba.”
Following a slow start to luxury sales in China due to the pandemic’s lockdowns, spending on luxury in the country has rebounded strongly as Chinese consumers purchase more luxury goods domestically rather than abroad due to travel restrictions. The global luxury market shrank by 23% in 2020, but mainland China’s market share nearly doubled, growing from about 11% last year to 20% in 2020, according to the report produced by Bain & Company and Tmall Luxury Division.
Growth for the mainland China luxury market is expected to increase by 48% to reach about 346 billion yuan by the end of 2020. This growth has driven China to double its overall share of the global luxury market in 2020, according to the report.
Chinese luxury consumers are technology savvy and highly sophisticated in terms of product knowledge. Many global luxury brands have embraced new digital tools such as livestreaming for product presentation in this year’s Double 11 (Nov. 11) shopping festival.
“One of the most exciting trends to come out of the luxury market in 2020 has been the ways that brands have actively developed and strengthened their connections to consumers both online and offline,” said Chris Tung, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group.