LVMH-owned cosmetics retailer Sephora has partnered with JD.com to open the largest cosmetics store on the e-commerce site.
“This new JD.com partnership will be an immediate rival to the existing major online business-to-consumer platforms for beauty products on the mainland,” said Ricky Lai, a research analyst at Guotai Junan International.
Jumei.com, mainland China’s largest online beauty retailer, and Alibaba’s Tmall, which has 19 high-end beauty brands on its platform, are Sephora and JD’s chief competitors in China’s booming beauty market.
“Sephora is dedicated to providing the best, most trusted beauty solutions for our customers, while making shopping more efficient, intelligent and fun,” said Anne Veronique Bruel, president of Sephora Asia.
Though Sephora has a network of retail stores across mainland China, JD’s logistical support will be invaluable for the company. JD has 123 warehouses in 40 Chinese cities with 3,210 delivery and pick-up centers. This will allow Sephora to ship its products with JD’s guaranteed same-day delivery in 134 districts and next-day delivery in an additional 866 districts.
The partnership could be another blow to Hong Kong’s beleaguered cosmetics companies, Sa Sa and Bonjour.
“There’s no doubt that e-commerce has had a negative impact on traditional retailers of cosmetics. By building self-owned online platforms or entering well-recognised e-commerce websites, such as Tmall and Jumei, many big-brand companies, such as Lancome and L’Oreal, have been improving their sales performance,” said David Lung, the managing partner of Deloitte China’s consumer business industry practice division.
According to data from China’s Tourism Board, visits by cross-boarder shoppers to Hong Kong fell 10 percent in March year-on-year to 3.24 million shoppers, the first decline since February 2011. The government’s decision to restrict visas to Hong Kong for Shenzhen could further the decline.
image credit: michael saechang