Bottega Veneta Becomes First Kering Fashion Brand To Launch On

What Happened: On May 16, Bottega Veneta launched its first online flagship store on Offering more than 2,000 items, including bags, shoes, and ready-to-wear items, it is the first fashion brand under Kering to join the Chinese e-commerce platform.

The house, led by creative director Matthieu Blazy, already operates a flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, which opened in 2018.

The Jing Take: It’s not surprising that Bottega Veneta has expanded to Firstly, has a proven track record of working with high-end names, currently housing over 400 luxury brand flagship stores. Moreover, as part of this new partnership, will provide Bottega Veneta with operational support and marketing resources to assist with new product releases and key shopping holidays, according to the e-commerce site.

It is surprising, however, that Kering’s fashion houses have waited this long to launch on the platform. In February 2022, high-end jewelry maker Qeelin became the first Kering brand to debut a flagship store on Other labels like Gucci and Alexander McQueen have self-operated stores on the platform, which differ from flagship stores in that the warehousing, logistics and customer service are handled by rather than the brand itself (in other words, acts as the merchant). 

Bottega Veneta’s flagship store versus Gucci’s self-operated store. Photo: Screenshots

Compare this to LVMH, which has launched nine high-end fashion houses on so far, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Loewe, Fendi, and Givenchy. 

Bottega Veneta’s move reflects luxury’s increasing investment in online retail, especially during the pandemic. As brick-and-mortar stores suffered disruptions in China due to ongoing lockdowns, e-commerce grew in importance; in 2021, online sales accounted for the majority of retail sales in the country for the first time, reported eMarketer. 

In particular, DTC platforms have become a key way to capture market share. As a white paper by AI and analytics firm Ekimetrics states, a digital DTC platform not only provides brands with valuable insights into their customers’ preferences, purchase history and product paths — which are not always accessible on third-party websites — but it also gives brands the freedom to provide tailored shopping experiences.

With Kering lagging LVMH in revenue growth in Q1 2023, Bottega Veneta’s latest initiative could serve as a way to regain sales momentum in China and gradually narrow the gap with its competitors. 

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.