Gucci did not become a worldwide sensation by accident, and as it fights pandemic-caused declining sales, it is proving resourceful.
Millions of shoppers already love the brand, and there are millions more just waiting in China. Beginning Monday, Gucci will open its online doors even wider to the Chinese market with one flagship store on Alibaba’s online platform and another early next year.
Gucci immediately becomes a marquee name among more than 200 brands on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform, which was created in 2017.
Alibaba, the Jack Ma-led business founded in 1999, said Gucci now is among the many high-end luxury goods companies previously skeptical of online retail.
According to Alibaba, the platform has added 50 such brands since the pandemic began, with those joining recently including Balmain, Salvatore Ferragamo, Golden Goose, De Beers, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and IWC Schaffhausen.
The first Gucci store opens Monday and sells fashion and leather goods collections, according to Friday’s joint statement from the two companies. A second, highlighting beauty products is expected to be available online in February.
“We’ve strived to help brands engage Chinese consumers via our digital tools and solutions, from product marketing and brand-building to market analytics and customer service,” Luna Wang, head of Tmall Luxury Division, said in a company release. He added that young adults in China have grown up with “the world’s information at its fingertips and entered the world of luxury at a very early age.”
Luxury goods have spurred business growth in China, whose customers using phone apps dramatically outpace those in the U.S. and Europe.
Alibaba stock had rallied from $200 to $317 from June 1 through Oct. 27, but has seen declines over the past couple of months and was trading at $260 as of midday on Friday.