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High-end fashion brand Gucci is set to open two flagship stores on Alibaba’s luxury e-commerce platform, highlighting the importance of affluent Chinese consumers in an anticipated recovery process post-pandemic.
Gucci, which is among the most successful Houses within the portfolio of its parent company, the Kering Group, is joining the Tmall Luxury Pavillion, which was launched in 2017 and now hosts more than 200 international brands covering apparel to premium cars.
The brand’s first flagship store which will sell fashion and leather goods collections and opened on December 21. A second store focused on beauty products will launch in February 2021 and will be operated by Gucci’s license partner Coty.
China, which boasts a higher volume of luxury online consumers compared to Europe or the U.S. has been a key market for the luxury sector this year, with sales surging in the country since lockdown measures began, while other territories have nosedived amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Chinese customers already represented around 35% of luxury goods purchases before the pandemic and are now expected to account for almost half of global sales of high-end clothes, handbags and jewellery by 2025, according to consultancy Bain, Reuters reports.
Luxury brands, who have traditionally refrained from selling online, have been forced to embrace e-commerce through their own websites as well as third-party platforms. Young consumers in particular are expected to drive recovery and growth post-Covid-19. Gucci has its own Chinese website, gucci.cn, and is present on all major Chinese social media platforms, including Weibo and WeChat. Tmall Luxury Pavilion is said to have a consumer base of 750 million people.