The Italian fashion brand is partnering with Tmall, launching two digital flagship stores on Alibaba’s dedicated platform Luxury Pavilion.
The first Gucci store will open on Dec. 21 and offer the brand’s fashion collections, including leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, watches and jewelry.
The second flagship will be operated by Gucci’s licensee Coty and dedicated to the brand’s beauty products. It will be unveiled next February and provide access to Gucci’s full range of makeup and fragrances.
“Gucci has strategically invested in and cultivated a ‘digital first’ approach globally, including the establishment of a dedicated Chinese digital ecosystem over the past years,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. The partnership with Alibaba “therefore represents the next step in this strategy as we provide our customers in China with an authorized, customized e-commerce experience on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion.”
Tmall Luxury Pavilion launched in 2017 and now carries more than 200 brands with products ranging from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars. Alibaba has a consumer base of more than 750 million people.
“Chinese consumers are fueling the global luxury market and they expect an elevated, seamless, digitally enabled experience,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group. Evans said the partnership will help Gucci “forge even greater success in the Chinese market by meeting the expectations of today’s digitally native luxury consumers.”
Gucci launched its Chinese web site gucci.cn in 2017 and the company has since implemented a dedicated strategy with a presence on main Chinese social media platforms including Weibo, WeChat, Red Book and Douyun.
In 2019, the company also announced a joint business partnership with Chinese multinational technology conglomerate holding company Tencent.
Last year, Gucci said 16 million viewers connected on Weibo to see the brand’s spring 2020 show, marking the first time the Italian brand had livestreamed its show on the Chinese platform.
In September last year, Gucci opened a store at the Plaza 66 shopping mall in Shanghai, followed by a new special concept store at Shin Kong Place in Beijing.
In November last year, Gucci launched its new makeup line in China. As reported, Gucci sold more than 1 million lipsticks in the first month since the Alessandro Michele-designed line dropped in May last year. The lipstick line was launched exclusively on gucci.com on May 4, followed by a rollout in New York and in selective doors worldwide, backed by a major digital push.
In an interview with WWD last month, Bizzarri said Gucci plans to roll out new makeup to continue to expand its cosmetics division — fragrances, lip, face and eyes and nails products — and to support The Alchemist’s Garden line, a creation between Michele and master perfumer Alberto Morillas.
Bizzarri said sales in the Asia-Pacific region were up 10.6 percent in the third quarter, despite high bases of comparison in recent years. “China has recovered quickly [from the pandemic] and there is a hunger for luxury shopping that we are able to meet because we are well-positioned in the region,” he remarked.
As reported, consumers in China, the online channel and Gen Z are expected to be the main growth drivers of personal luxury goods, forecast to reach sales of between 330 billion and 370 billion euros in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of about 10 percent.
According to the 19th edition of the Bain & Company Luxury Study, in collaboration with Italy’s luxury goods association Fondazione Altagamma, online is set to become the leading channel for luxury purchases by 2025, fueling the omnichannel transformation. The year 2020 is propelling China to become the biggest market by 2025, when Chinese consumers will make up close to 50 percent of luxury purchases globally.