Another player in the fast-evolving Chinese luxury e-commerce market.
Net-A-Porter Group Limited, the UK online luxury fashion retailer, has just acquired the Chinese discounted, members’ only luxury e-tailer Shouke.com, which was co-founded by Adrienne Ma, daughter of the founder of the multi-brand retailer, the Joyce Group.
The acquisition marks the beginning of Net-A-Porter’s emergence into the Chinese luxury market with a multiphase launch of its websites.
“Asia-Pacific is a core market for the Net-A-Porter Group. We have been retailing to local customers in the region, and have built a strong base since our launch in 2000,” said Mark Sebba, Net-a-porter’s chief executive. “Like many businesses in the luxury sector, we have seen huge growth in recent years. This is the first step in the next chapter in the growth of the Net-A-Porter Group.”
The three founders of Shouke will serve as board members on the new Asia-Pacific division of Net-a-porter.
Net-A-Porter plans to begin marketing to China by relaunching Shouke.com as Theoutnet.cn, the Chinese version of Theoutnet.com. One hundred international designers, offered at discounts of up to 80 percent, will be featured on the site.
After that launch, Net-A-Porter.com will introduce a Chinese-language version of the brand’s iPad app, followed by the launch of a simplified Chinese language Web site for mainland China.
The Hong Kong distribution center will open in 2013, and will serve the Asia-Pacific region, at which point, Hong Kong customers will receive same-day delivery, and customers elsewhere around the globe will receive purchases within 24 hours.
As China’s e-commerce market evolves, who will win the online battle? Anyone’s guess, but one thing is sure, the consumers will certainly be winners — getting better merchandise selection and more competitive pricing and incentives.