Zara to Launch Online Mall Through Alibaba’s Tmall
Inditex who owns Zara the world’s largest fashion retailer is planning to join the fast growing online marketplace in China Tmall to further strengthen their position in the country which is already is second biggest based on store numbers following Spain. Tmall is operated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba that handled more than 1.5 trillion yuan in transactions from 231 million active users last year.
Tmall is offering customers more virtual store fronts to merchants that set their own prices and handle their own logistics on almost everything except payments. Other Western brands such as ASOS and Burberry have already joined Tmall recently. Inditex expanded quickly in China in the last ten years to more than 457 stores by the end of January which analysts say accounts for 5 percent for the company sales. In 2012 the company launched its online Zara store in China in hopes to tap the booming e-commerce market and hopefully reach consumers in small cities that don’t have big malls or towns without Zara shops.
Inditex expansion in China has marched ahead of its arch rival Hennes & Mauritz that have 205 stores in the country as of November 30 and is planning launch its own online services in the country soon. Zara will be launched in time for the autumn-winter collection for 2014 and will continue to sell the collection through their own website in China.