JD.com headquarters, Beijing, China.

COURTING THE CONSUMER: JD is ramping up it experiential retail services with the introduction of a direct-to-consumer online fashion store, JDesigner Boutique. This follows a series of launches from the e-commerce giant including self-driving trucks and the introduction of Muji’s new online flagship.

JDesigner Boutique will stock a selection of designers and brands by JD’s own team of retailers. To coincide with the launch, designers Haizhen Wang, Simon Gao and Wanning will provide the boutique with more than 200 sku’s. Wang and Gao will continue their partnership and collaborative effort with JD.com’s JDX platform, the company’s in-house innovation lab.

The online boutique said it’s planning to stock “trending fashion apparel directly from designers and brands to sell to the country’s growing number of fashion-savvy consumers.”

“Today it’s hard to believe there was ever an image of an unstylish Chinese consumer. Now the country boasts millions of fashionistas who don’t just impress, they present their own unique styles—and that’s the market we are serving with this,” said Josh Gartner, vice president of corporate affairs at JD.com.

On June 18, the launch will be supported by a pop-up store in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun in the Chaoyang district. The area is already home to many international labels such as Apple, Uniqlo and Adidas and the capital’s popular Bar Street.

According to Mintel, China’s online market is expected to reach a value of 1.3 trillion renminbi, or $16 billion, with 73 percent of Chinese consumers shopping from local e-commerce sites.

The boutique is keen to strengthen its apparel business after reporting earlier last month that its first-quarter sales were very weak.

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