SHANGHAI — Uniqlo will soon become the latest international brand to open a flagship on Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com.
This story first appeared in the April 9, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Fresh from the Chinese government’s announcement last month that it will ease regulations in order to promote the country’s booming e-commerce sector, JD Mall chief executive officer Haoyu Shen believes more and more international brands will join JD.com in order to gain access to the country’s massive online market.
“The shift toward e-commerce in China is unmistakable, and it’s equally clear that the government and global brands are embracing the trend. Companies that fail to jump on board risk losing out on the Chinese market — which is why we are seeing so many new brands joining JD.com,” he said.
As for why the Japanese fast-fashion retailer — which already boasts more than 300 stores on the Mainland and has had a presence on Alibaba’s Tmall platform since 2009 — decided to partner with JD.com, rather than setting up an independently operated online flagship here, Uniqlo Greater China ceo Pan Ning pointed to JD.com’s extensive logistics as a major advantage.
“We are excited to be offering our customers the use of JD.com’s amazingly fast, and trusted last-mile delivery network, which has proven to be an advantage in China’s e-commerce market,” he said. “We expect that the secure and seamless shopping experience that JD.com offers will turn many shoppers into new Uniqlo customers in China, which is one of our most important overseas markets.”
JD.com, which last month reported a 73 percent year-on-year increase in revenues for its fourth quarter through December, has spent the past year aggressively expanding its logistics network in China. The network hasn’t been utilized by other international companies on its roster, such as Gap, which controls its own distribution from its JD.com flagship.
“It’s tremendously gratifying that international brands like Uniqlo, which has been in China for years and knows the market well, appreciate the unique value of our same- and next-day delivery network. Just as we want to be associated with the quality of Uniqlo, they want to be associated with JD.com’s superior service,” Shen added.
Though it won’t officially launch until April 17, Uniqlo is currently offering exclusive discounts to JD.com shoppers in order to build buzz for the flagship.
Other global fashion and apparel brands available on JD.com include Gap, Levi’s, Lacoste, Marks & Spencer and Skechers.