Burberry is going where few luxury brands have gone before: Tmall. To coincide with the opening of its Shanghai flagship (which joins its existing 78 stores in 36 cities in the country), the British brand has teamed up with the China e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to launch a virtual Burberry storefront on Tmall, the largest online retail platform in China and sister site to TaoBao, the Chinese version of eBay. The brand, which recently reported a 13% increase for the six month period ending on March 31st, much of which is thanks to online sales, is one of only a small handful of luxury brands with a presence on Tmall.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Coach opened a Tmall store for one month to mark its 70th anniversary in December 2011. Benefit Cosmetics, a subsidiary of of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton opened a Tmall shop in 2012 and subsequently closed it only a few months on the site. The hesitation for most brand stems from the fact that a large portion of goods are sold on Tmall at heavily reduced prices and brand's don't want their names associated with discounted products. We will have to wait and see if Burberry can withstand the negative association that may come with the brand aligning itself with discounted goods. In the meantime, Chinese readers, check it out and report back!