Swiss luxury group Richemont and Chinese group Alibaba are going into partnership to go after the Chinese retail market, Richemont said on Friday.
The strategic partnership will feature retail offerings of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group (YNAP), the online luxury retailer, to Chinese consumers.
YNAP and Alibaba will establish a joint venture to launch two mobile apps for the Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter multi-brand, in-season online stores for consumers in China.
“Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry,” said Richemont Chairman Johan Rupertexternal link.
“Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market.”
Boutique to online
Luxury companies, normally known for their plush boutiques, have been trying to increase their online retail presence in China, one of the world’s largest markets for expensive watches and jewellery.
Cartier owner Richemontexternal link, which has been trying to beef up its online presence, this year bought Watchfinder.co.uk, an online platform to research, buy and sell premium pre-owned watches. The Geneva company also took full control of Yoox Net-a-Porter to compete better in an expanding online market for luxury goods.