SHANGHAI —Chinese luxury goods retailer Secoo has just secured fresh financing of $100 million to embark on an international expansion drive.
Secoo is best known as an e-commerce player selling products like handbags and watches. It also runs a network of five Secoo Club retail stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong. The company plans to extend its retail network this year, opening its first three international stores in New York, Paris and Milan to cater mainly to Chinese tourists shopping abroad.
Secoo chief executive Li Rixue said Chinese consumers love to shop abroad- as many as 70 percent of luxury purchases from Chinese consumers are made outside China- but they still face barriers, including language difficulties, as well as after-sales service and repairs once they return to the mainland. More than 100 million Chinese consumers expected to travel abroad in 2014.
"We will open Secoo Club branches in global luxury centers that can supply better service to high class Chinese consumers. By setting up these overseas branches, Secoo will also build strategic relationships with brands, distributors, and agents to bring the newest and most comprehensive overseas luxury products to China's consumers," he said.
The company boasts three million registered users on its site, secoo.com. Founded in 2008, the company posted 2013 sales of 1 billion renminbi, or $162 million at current exchange.
Secoo sells both new and used luxury products. One of the major selling points for consumers is the authenticity guarantee. Secoo claims to have China's most comprehensive luxury testing center and tests 100 percent of the products it sells online and in its stores. The retailer carries products from 76 global luxury brands, including Prada, Cartier, Giorgio Armani and Chanel.
The site's average online transaction value comes in at 8,000 renminbi, about $1,300 at current exchange, considered extremely high for China.
Li said Secoo generates about 80 percent of its sales online but the executive said he sees online-to-offline (O2O) as the future, not only for Secoo, but also for Chinese luxury shopping more broadly.
"The e-commerce platform and app can satisfy the needs of consumers to conveniently see what's available and shop, the offline stores can give consumers a better shopping experience and satisfy the customers' need to see and touch high end products," he said.
Last year, China's O2O market was estimated to be around 60 million renminbi, or $9.7 million, in terms of gross transaction value, according to iResearch Consulting Group. With the firm projecting this figure will grow more than seven times by 2017.
A slew of China's e-commerce heavy hitters have been jumping on the bandwagon in 2014, with Alibaba, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. all stepping up their O2O maneuvering to increase their reach across China's retailing sectors.
The difference with Secoo, according to Jasmine Sun, an e-commerce analyst with Smith Street Solutions, is its plan to go the O2O route solo, without partnering up with an established offline retailer.
"O2O is a big trend, but it's not that easy for online companies to go offline, [from what we have seen so far] in order to do this O2O thing, e-commerce companies have to work with offline partners," she said.
Li Rixue said the company is also interested in expanding its stores' range to sell Chinese-made luxury products as well.
"With the development of the overseas strategy, we also hope we can bring some of China's exquisitely crafted products to the international market," he said. "I would like more people to understand China's homegrown luxury and craftsmanship eventually."
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)