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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs relationship with luxury brands, with 950 of them already distributed through its own operations in China.
Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said: ‚ÄúChinese 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.‚ÄĚ
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said that this multi-faceted partnership will bring Chinese¬†consumers ‚Äúunprecedented access‚ÄĚ to some of the world‚Äôs leading luxury brands.
‚ÄúChinese 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,‚ÄĚ 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.
‚ÄúAs Chinese consumers continue to upgrade their lifestyles, we want to meet the desires of Alibaba‚Äôs 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.‚ÄĚ
The joint venture will go head-to-head with a similar partnership by Alibaba‚Äôs rival JD.com‚Äôs and luxury e-commerce company Farfetch.
While Kering‚Äôs Gucci have refused to team up with Alibaba due to concerns over counterfeit goods circulating on the platform, Rupert said that Alibaba‚Äôs systems pose a low-risk scenario for counterfeiting.