THERE’s a new name in online luxury as of today – Toplife, owned by China’s largest e-commerce company, and recent BFC collaborator, JD.COM.
The platform, reports BoF, “aims to bring the personalised shopping experience of luxury brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce” and will allow brands to customise their presence on the platform and take advantage of JD.com’s extensive logistics set-up, something which lured Farfetch.com to partner with the Chinese giant in the region earlier this year. Confirmed brands to work with Toplife include lingerie brand La Perla, luggage brand Rimowa, and Italian stalwart Emporio Armani; the first – no doubt – of many international brands that will be looking at what the new site can do to bolster their presence and performance in the Far East.
“Luxury brands understand that the entire retail game in China is online, but they’ve been late to enter. They’ve been waiting for a luxury-branded site that can give the full experience of going into their offline stores – and that’s what we’ve built,” said Xia Ding, president of JD.com’s fashion division, who was in London over Fashion Week to launch JD.com’s sponsorship of the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund.
“Working with Toplife, luxury brands are able to directly provide customers throughout China with a true luxury shopping experience previously only associated with high-end offline stores,” said Richard Liu, JD.com’s chairman and CEO. “Toplife is a luxury e-commerce ecosystem that provides a truly premium shopping experience, and helps our partners tell their brand story to local consumers.”
The move mirrors a similar one by Alibaba – China’s second-largest online retailer – earlier this year, who announced it would be launching a special luxury pavilion on one of its most popular subsites, Tmall.