South African billionaire Johann Rupert’s luxury goods group Richemont is forming a joint venture with online commerce giant Alibaba to launch a luxury goods platform for the Chinese market.
Under the partnership, Richemont will bring its recently-acquired YOOX Net-a-Porter (Ynap) brand with Alibaba under a new joint venture.
Ynap is an online Italian fashion retailer which was acquired by Richemont in May 2018. The group specialises in luxury fashion brands, and has become one of the leading e-commerce platforms for luxury brands, servicing 180 markets.
The tie-up with Alibaba will include the launch of two mobile apps for consumers in China, targeting Chinese consumers at home and abroad, as well as online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, an exclusive platform dedicated to the world’s leading luxury brands.
Launched in 2017, the Tmall Luxury Pavilion aims to create the same brand exclusivity and tailored shopping experience that customers shopping offline typically enjoy. It enables brands to deliver highly personalised shopping experiences through curated homepages, customised brand pages, product recommendations and exclusive VIP awards.
Alibaba will provide technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics and other technology support to the joint venture.
The partnership will also leverage Ynap’s strong relationship with leading luxury brands, some 950 of them being currently distributed through Ynap in China, Richemont said.
“Chinese customers at home and abroad are an increasingly important customer base for Richemont and for the broader luxury industry. Our digital offering in China is in its infancy and we believe that partnering with Alibaba will enable us to become a significant and sustainable online player in this market,” Rupert said.