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Alibaba and Richemont ink deal to bring Yoox Net-a-Porter Group to China

Richemont, the Swiss luxury e-commerce group, has signed a global strategic partnership with Alibaba Group to bring the retail offerings of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group to Chinese consumers.

Under the partnership, Yoox Net-A-Porter Group and Alibaba will establish a joint venture to launch two mobile apps for Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter multi-brand. In addition, Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter will launch online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

Alibaba will provide technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics and other technology support to the joint venture.

Meanwhile Alibaba can leverage Yoox Net-A-Porter Group’s relationship with luxury brands, with 950 of them already distributed through its own operations in China.

Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said: “Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry. Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market. Alibaba has become the preferred online destination in China, with world-class teams in technology, logistics and marketing.”

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said that this multi-faceted partnership will bring Chinese consumers “unprecedented access” to some of the world’s leading luxury brands.

“Chinese consumers are expected to account for nearly half of the global luxury market by 2025, and through this partnership, Alibaba and Yoox Net-A-Porter Group will be even better positioned to capture this compelling market opportunity,” said Zhang.

Under the new joint venture, Yoox Net-A-Porter Group and Alibaba will also explore future offerings that enable the customers to enjoy seamless online and offline shopping experiences, and will focus on serving consumers in China and Chinese consumers travelling abroad.

“As Chinese consumers continue to upgrade their lifestyles, we want to meet the desires of Alibaba’s more than 600 million users. By integrating online and offline commerce through our New Retail technologies, we will be able to deliver a seamless experience to consumers as well as better enable these leading brands to engage their customers in new and innovative ways.”

The joint venture will go head-to-head with a similar partnership by Alibaba’s rival JD.com’s and luxury e-commerce company Farfetch.

While Kering’s Gucci have refused to team up with Alibaba due to concerns over counterfeit goods circulating on the platform, Rupert said that Alibaba’s systems pose a low-risk scenario for counterfeiting.

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