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JD challenges Alibaba in luxury e-commerce with launch of Toplife
Along with China’s exponential consumption upgrade, local e-commerce giants are racing to the luxury sector. Online retailer JD today announced the launch of its first-ever online marketplace for luxury products called Toplife.
The platform allows brands to sell directly to consumers through an end-to-end luxury e-commerce ecosystem that incorporates online stores, premium customer service and delivery, marketing and branding expertise, and specialized warehousing and inventory. JD Luxury Express, the white-glove delivery service that currently operates in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu, will be made available to a section of Toplife users.
Marquee brands that have already joined Toplife include La Perla, Emporio Armani, Rimowa (LVMH), B&O Play and Trussardi. More brands will be joining the platform, including ones that will be launching their first ever online stores in China, JD suggested.
“Our deep understanding of high-end consumers has enabled us to launch a luxury e-commerce ecosystem that provides a truly premium shopping experience, and helps partners tell their brand story to local consumers,” said Richard Liu, Chairman and CEO of JD.com
The consumption power of China’s sizable middle class is impressive. A McKinsey report shows that over 7.6 million Chinese families have purchased luxury products with a household spending RMB 71,000 ($10.784) in 2016 (in Chinese).
Given the trend, JD has been quite active in high-end luxury and fashion business recently. In June, it has become a large investor in Farfetch, a marketplace for luxury products, with $3.97 billion investment.
JD’s arch competitor Alibaba has laid out in the sector as early as 2015 through strategic investment into luxury and fashion sales website Mei.com. In August, it has stepped deeper in the trend with the launch of a dedicated Luxury Pavilion on its Tmall shopping site.