Luxury handbags on display in Beijing. Around 8 percent of Chinese luxury purchases are made online.
The fierce online battle for luxury Chinese consumers refuses to let up. Close on the heels of Alibaba launching its specialized luxury platform, and the listing of Secoo, the largest online luxury retailer in China on the Nasdaq last month, JD.com has opened its own dedicated channel targeting rich Chinese shoppers, called Toplife.To be unveiled Oct. 10, the platform will cater to luxury goods of all types — from fashion and accessories to health and beauty, home furnishings and electronics — and, addressing key concerns that high-end labels have over emulating the exclusive nature of the offline experience, promises more control for brands.Names such as La Perla, Emporio Armani, Rimowa, B&O Play and Trussardi have already signed up, JD.com said, and the Chinese e-tailer has promised more will be revealed within the coming weeks, "some of which will launch their first online stores in China."RELATED: China's Largest Online Luxury Retailer Lists on NASDAQ >> “Working with Toplife, luxury brands worldwide are now able to directly provide customers throughout China with a true luxury shopping experience previously only associated with high-end offline stores," said Richard Liu, chairman and chief executive officer of JD.com. "Toplife aims to mirror the offline luxury shopping experience in a premium e-commerce experience.”To that end, JD.com is enabling brands to control every aspect of their flagship's appearance, allowing 24-hour access to customer service and training fashion consultants to advise on luxury brands. Product sold through Toplife will also be stored in a special warehouse equipped with dust-free sealed spaces, strict temperature and humidity controls, and robotics.Currently only 8 percent of Chinese luxury purchases are made online, according to a report last month from consulting firm Bain & Co., but this percentage is forecast to spike in the next few years, owing to increased spending by Millennials, the rising middle class and a new wave of working women.RELATED: Alibaba Denies Pressuring 44 Brands to Leave JD.com >>"It took them some time but we are seeing more brands warming up to platforms like Net-a-porter and Mytheresa. The brand owners need to get comfortable with the platform’s positioning and presentation of products, just like how they would choose wholesalers in the offline days," said CLSA analyst Mariana Kou. "The Chinese platforms have a transactional and promotional image so they would have to be more strategic with their positioning and branding to win the hearts of global luxury brand owners."Brian Buchwald, ceo of consumer intelligence firm Bomoda, said the persistent existence of third party-sold legitimate and illegitimate versions of brand goods remains a problem. "For instance, in August 2017 alone, we calculated nearly 8,000 Louis Vuitton products sold on Alibaba excluding fragrance. We modeled approximately 1,000 sold on JD," Buchwald said.Separate platforms may not necessarily be sufficient to coax customers to do their luxury shopping on these destinations, he contended.RELATED: JD.com and Thailand's Central Group Form $500m Partnership >>"The reality is that the continued existence of illegitimate products sitting on Taobao even while a brand operates a Tmall store will continue to muddy the message," Buchwald said. "Further, both Alibaba and JD are at their core, mass. It is what they do best and what they have been rewarded for in terms of their growth and market value. It may be that their ability to both be purveyors of mass market products and luxury products is limited through no fault of their own. Just like in a shopping center or shopping district, like sits by like, the nature of these marketplaces may preclude luxury adoption."Instead, Buchwald sees significant potential in WeChat, which is niche but growing quickly."At this point, most luxury brands are testing limited editions or time-boxing campaigns through pop-up stores. If those campaigns are successful we expect to see a broader push over time," he said.RELATED: Bain & Co. Release Report on Chinese Luxury Shoppers >>
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)