British luxury fashion brand Burberry Plc has opened a virtual store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall shopping site as part of its plans to expand in China, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
The company’s move highlights the phenomenal growth of e-commerce in the country, the newspaper said. Chinese online shoppers snapped up 1.84 trillion yuan (US$295 billion) worth of merchandise in 2013, and could buy as much as 4.45 trillion yuan worth in 2017, according to iResearch Global Inc.
Burberry also wants to gain better control of its brand in China as many luxury products, including its own, are being bought outside of China and sold online at much lower prices, the report said.
Tmall hosts 70,000 sellers and corners nearly half of the country’s online retail market, the newspaper said, citing Euromonitor International. Sales at the online shopping mall surged nearly tenfold over the past three years to 273.7 billion yuan, it said.
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