Hermes-backed Chinese lifestyle brand Shang Xia is gearing up to launch a store on Alibaba’s Tmall in March, the latest sign that the luxury goods industry’s contentious relationship with e-commerce giant is starting to improve.
Just a few days After Alibaba announced that it is teaming up with Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and several other companies to fight counterfiting, Shang Xia artistic director and chief executive officer Jiang Qiong Er said her brand is preparing to make its first foray into the world of e-commerce.
“I think Tmall is a quite mature platform. You will get major traffic,” she said, adding that Shang Xia will directly manage the store much like Burberry does with its Tmall store. “I think it’s great to start with an established platform.”
As for ongoing controversy surrounding the proliferation of fake products on Alibaba’s platforms- Jiang said she is not worried- even if fake Shang Xia products are trading on Taobao. The designer and executive said she thinks the best strategy to combat counterfeits is create a legitimate store to lure customers and stay one step ahead of the imitators by being a “pioneer” and constantly coming up with new products.
“I’m confident that, you know, people will follow us,” she said during an interview at Lane Crawford’s Home store in Hong Kong’s Pacific Place mall. Jiang added that she has a good relationship with Alibaba and believes the Chinese e-commerce giant is earnest about its vow to eliminate fake products. “It’s teamwork. They are conscious about that.”
Elsewhere, Jiang said Shang Xia is really starting to gain momentum as Chinese consumers embrace the idea of China-made luxury products. She declined to release sales figures but said January sales are up about 25 percent on last year and the brand is seeing similar double-digit growth every month.
Jiang said she is working to broaden the range of more “accessible products” from Shang Xia like jewelry, scarves and tea accouterments selling for 500 renminbi to 1,000 renminbi, or $73 to $145, to reach out to more younger consumers. Some of Shanghai Xia’s price points for its more collectable items hover closer to 20,000 renminbi, or $2,920.
“I want to invite and prepare a younger generation of clients,” she said. “They all love culture. They all love this heritage.”