Prada Sees Explosive Growth With New E-tail Strategy

What happened: According to the Italian luxury fashion house Prada, brand sales in China have seen a swift recovery since the company reopened its shops to customers and have risen well above last year’s levels.

“To date, the Prada Group’s sales in China have already largely exceeded the levels of 2019, showing double-digit growth since the beginning of the year,” said Prada’s chief executive Patrizio Bertelli to Reuters in a statement.

Bertelli added that the brand’s recovery has been gaining momentum since the end of March, with sales growing by more than 60 percent in the following months. “We believe that the same trend can be maintained in the coming months,” said Bertelli, who also disclosed that Prada recorded sales on China’s Valentine’s Day, which fell on August 25 this year.

Jing Take: Compared to other European luxury houses, Prada didn’t rush to embrace the new wave of Chinese e-commerce channels and continued to sell its luxury products through directly owned and operated channels. By remaining faithful to this outdated model, Prada ensured the group’s integrity and exclusive control over the brand, but it didn’t reach the relevant, novelty-loving buyers in China.

Understanding that this was the wrong approach, Prada launched flagship stores on Secoo and in the summer of 2019. It completed this digital expansion in 2020 with the launch of a Tmall store.

Through partnerships with Chinese e-commerce platforms, Prada further improved and enriched its client base and strengthened its brand identity in China. Consequently, the boost in sales is a result of a new digital trajectory that is helping the Italian brand build new channels that can engage more customers.

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.