International Watch Review

Yoox Net-A-Porter is Coming to China

The Richemont Group has teamed up with Alibaba to launch a luxury retail platform for Chinese consumers and gain better access to a promising market.
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Unity is strength. The Richemont Group and Alibaba have announced a strategic partnership to bring Chinese consumers the retail offerings of Yoox Net-a-Porter, a subsidiary of Richemont and a major player in the online luxury market.

"Chinese customers, both at home and abroad, are an increasingly important clientele for Richemont and for the luxury industry in general," said Johann Rupert, chairman of the Richemont Group. "Our digital offering in China is in its infancy, and we are confident that this partnership with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant, sustainable player in this market. "

Concretely, as part of this partnership, YNAP and Alibaba will create a joint venture and launch two mobile applications: one for Net-a-Porter and another for YNAP's other online retail sites. Everyone will play their role. While Alibaba will manage technological infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics, YNAP will bring, for its part, a long list of luxury brands it distributes.

A Long-Term Partnership

In addition, the Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter online stores will launch on Alibaba's Tmall Luxury Pavilion. Dedicated to luxury, this platform strives to establish brand exclusivity through a personalized shopping experience, thus offering customers a quality of purchase identical to those in a brick-and-mortar store. For example, brands can customize their homepages, recommend products, and more.

"This multi-faceted partnership will provide Chinese consumers with unprecedented access to the world's leading luxury brands," said Daniel Zhang, CEO of the Alibaba Group. "Chinese consumers are expected to become nearly half of the global luxury market by 2025, and through this partnership, Alibaba and YNAP will be even better positioned to seize this exciting market opportunity."

But without precedent does not mean without competitors. The most famous of them, JD.com, is the number two e-commerce site in China and recently invested $400 million in British high-end fashion site Farfetch in order to enrich its offering. But at this groundbreaking moment, what does it matter?

"This announcement is just the beginning of a long-term partnership," Zhang said. "Together, we are committed to exploring many more opportunities for collaboration in the future."

The Richemont Group and Alibaba aim to launch a luxury retail platform for the Chinese market through their partnership. Above, Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface and IWC's Portugieser Chronograph, two of the group's brands.

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