Gucci is set to open two new digital flagship stores on Alibaba’s luxury shopping platform as it seeks to recoup losses incurred by the pandemic.
According to a joint statement released today, the luxury fashion giant is set to open its first store on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform on December 21 selling a range of fashion and leather goods.
In February next year, Gucci will open a separate second store on the platform operated by its license partner Coty, selling a range of beauty products.
This will provide a major boon for Alibaba’s luxury venture, which was launched in 2017 and now hosts over 200 luxury brands.
It will also help Gucci to kickstart sales in the crucial Chinese market, which represented around 35 per cent of global luxury goods sales pre-pandemic.
According to figures from Bain, by 2025 Chinese consumers will account for over half of global sales of high-end clothes, handbags and jewelry.
Not only has the pandemic compounded the importance of the Chinese market, which has seen luxury sales surge since lockdown measures were eased in Spring, but it has forced luxury brands to adopt ecommerce strategies.
“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,” Gucci’s chief executive Marco Bizzarri said.
“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.”