One-Month Pilot Online Store Running Through January 15, 2012
Fresh off the heels of its star-studded 70th anniversary celebration in Beijing, today Coach is celebrating another milestone in China, the launch of an official pilot Taobao Mall (Tmall) store that will give Chinese shoppers access to limited-edition bags and accessories through January 15, 2012. Stocking a range of men’s and women’s items, coach.tmall.com also includes a special selection of 70th anniversary commemorative products, a hand-picked edition of best sellers, and exclusive products created specifically for Tmall. Additionally, as part of the store’s one-month-long trial run, 20 lucky customers will receive an autographed copy of Coach brand ambassador Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter.
As Coach China president and CEO Jonathan Seliger said of the new store launch, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Coach brand, and over the past 10 years, Coach has gained a firm foothold in the Chinese domestic market. It’s an important moment for us to celebrate our 70th anniversary, and we’re pleased to announce the first official online flagship store on Taobao Mall, which will help us understand the particular needs and preferences of Chinese shoppers, while preparing us for a long-term future in the Chinese e-commerce market.”
Currently operating 71 directly managed retail locations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, Coach’s new Tmall “flagship” is the brand’s only officially authorized online retail outlet in China. In preparation for the official launch, Coach and Taobao Mall signed a memorandum of understanding to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods on Taobao. While Coach has been biding its time before jumping into China’s red-hot e-commerce market, its relatively early adoption of the Tmall platform and decision to run the store as a sort of “online pop-up flagship” for one month to gauge consumer interest looks like a smart move. Additionally, features like free giveaways, raffles and limited-edition items always play well in the China market, and Coach has done well to include all three in its Tmall store.
While it’s far too early to tell if other global luxury brands will soon follow suit and head to Tmall, we can bet they’re all going to be closely watching Coach’s store over the course of the next month.