SHANGHAI — Gap Inc. on Thursday launched an online flagship on JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce site.

This story first appeared in the December 19, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

More than 600 items for men, women and children are available as part of Gap’s initial online selection for the site, which is offering exclusive discounts.

“The launch of Gap’s flagship store on JD.com underlines our confidence and commitment to this growing market. We are truly excited about this new partnership, which allows us to further engage with more local customers, providing them with authentic products with high quality and a superior shopping experience,” May Ng, vice president of e-commerce for Gap China, said.

In China’s increasingly competitive e-commerce market, JD.com has aggressively tried to differentiate itself from other major e-commerce platforms — especially Alibaba’s Taobao — as a purveyor of authentic products, a positioning which makes it an attractive partner for international brands looking to make their mark in the world’s most lucrative online shopping market.

“We appeal to middle- and upper-middle-class consumers who really care about quality, which is a huge draw for international brands,” JD Mall chief executive officer Haoyu Shen said. “When foreign brands come to China, they want to reach a massive consumer base that values quality. JD.com had more than 40 million active users last quarter, and we are synonymous with authenticity in China. Opening a flagship store on our site creates a gateway to Chinese consumers for premium American brands.”

The move adds Gap to JD.com’s stable of international brands, which includes Forever 21 and Levi’s as well as shoe brands Nine West and Steve Madden.

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