Marking its 90th anniversary this year, the Italian luxury retailer, Luisa Via Roma, now better known for their e-commerce site than their iconic concept store in Florence, Italy, is ushering in a new era with rapid expansion in China.
Last week, the longtime e-tailer (they began selling via e-commerce channels back in 1999), signed a strategic partnership with China’s top luxury e-commerce site Secoo to sell more than 600 luxury and fashion brands directly on Secoo’s platforms, which includes their official website, mobile app, and several offline experience centers in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, and Hangzhou.
Per the announcement, Luisa Via Roma will officially debut on Secoo on June 17th with a wide selection of apparel, bags, accessories, luxury home interiors, and beauty at the same price points as on Luisa Via Roma’s own global site, LUISAVIAROMA.com.
Luisa Via Roma has been a pioneer and a firm believer in the power of e-commerce for luxury business. Its e-commerce site, which has become one of the most famous online shopping malls around the world, has also been around longer than most. However, it has decided to follow in the footprints of some of its key rivals, such as YOOX Net-a-Porter and Farfetch, by choosing to collaborate with local Chinese e-commerce players as a way to localize and dive deeper into the massive, complex, and lucrative Chinese market. YOOX Net-a-Porter had previously formed a joint venture with the country’s biggest e-commerce platform, Alibaba, while the luxury portal TopLife was recently acquired by another giant e-tailer, Farfetch, from the e-commerce company JD.com.
Secoo is a natural choice for any luxury e-commerce player that hopes to reach China’s online luxury consumers. The platform has attracted a large, loyal customer base with high-purchasing power, which now stands at around 27 million people. According to a 2018 survey published by the United Kingdom-based consultancy firm OC&C, Secoo was ranked the top-rated domestic e-commerce platform among Chinese respondents.
Moreover, the presence of fake luxury products has been a widespread issue in China, making many luxury brands anxious about doing business with local Chinese companies. Secoo, however, has also made great strides in combating counterfeit luxury goods, offering a service to ensure the authenticity of luxury items sold on by them. This authentication service will cover all Luisa Via Roma sales as well, and under this partnership, the Italian e-tailer will ship products to Secoo’s Milan warehouse for authentication before they are shipped to China.
China’s luxury e-commerce market has great growth potential since the next generation of digitally native customers now rules that market. And now, with the right strategies in place, Luisa Via Roma is poised to carve out an ever-increasing slice of China’s luxury market for itself.