In a bid to recover from declining profits in China, the Italian luxury conglomerate Prada Group will make two of its key brands – Prada and Miu Miu – available on Secoo: China’s leading luxury e-commerce platform and the preferred online shopping platform for over 27 million Chinese clients with high-purchasing power.
The move, which begins this June, represents a huge change to the company’s e-commerce strategy for a Chinese luxury market that now accounts for over one-third of the world’s total luxury consumption — and still has the potential for even more growth.
Since 2017, both Prada and Miu Miu have launched Chinese e-commerce boutique stores exclusively aimed at Chinese-speaking customers. To facilitate the buying process, both stores enabled AliPay and WeChat, the two online payment solutions favored by Chinese consumers. Now, adding another online sales channel, the parent company will give Prada and Miu Miu even more exposure within their target market.
What’s noteworthy about this deal is that it’s still relatively rare for luxury megabrands to team up with third-party Chinese e-commerce platforms nowadays. The Prada Group’s major competitors, which includes Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Hermès, are currently in complete control of their official e-commerce services in China. And last year, Gucci’s global CEO Marco Bizarre was outspoken on counterfeiting concerns he had about Chinese e-commerce platforms like Alibaba, and as a result, ruled out the possibility of working with any of them in the near future.
Secoo’s strong reputation against counterfeiting may have alleviated the Prada Group’s concerns about collaborating with the platform. “The partnership with Secoo is part of a broader distribution strategy aiming at reaching a larger consumer base for the Prada and Miu Miu brands in the Chinese market through a trusted digital player who is able to guarantee a luxury experience line with the brands’ identity and our retail network,” a Prada Group spokesperson told Jing Daily via email.
The partnership is a result of the group’s review of distribution channels, which happened on May 16, during the Board of Directors meeting. There the group analyzed the structure of the company’s wholesale channels and concluded that independent partners were essential to enhancing their price consistency.
Founded in 2008 by Li Rixue, Secoo has come a long way in transforming from a second-hand luxury platform to a full-fledged omnichannel player, attracting brands from Tod’s to Roger Vivier to sell on their site. The success of this collaboration should be crucial for Prada and Miu Miu to grow in the competitive Chinese market.