Spanish fashion brand Loewe has announced it will hold a flash sale of its iconic “Barcelona” handbag on Tmall, Alibaba Group’s B2C shopping site, to mark the LVMH-owned luxury house’s first venture into China’s e-commerce market.
In honor of Chinese Valentine’s Day this month, the Madrid-based Loewe has designed “Hearts” Barcelona bags (pictured) exclusively for China’s online shoppers. The limited-edition run of 99 bags, which will sell on Tmall’s newly launched Luxury Pavilion on Aug. 19, have been priced at RMB15,900 ($2,380) each.
Loewe will use Tmall’s Tspace, a new “online pop-up store” marketing tool, to hold the 24-hour flash sale. Loewe will be the first company to use the feature, which allows brands to design custom shopping experiences dedicated to unique inventory as well as flash-marketing campaigns for the Luxury Pavilion. The pop-up store closes after the sale has ended.
While Loewe has 20 brick-and-mortar stores in China, the company said the online sale was prompted by seeing substantial engagement among the country’s online shoppers during holidays such as Chinese Valentine’s Day. Also, the format of an online pop-up store was an ideal testing ground for entering the e-commerce market, the company said.
Pre-sales will begin at 12 a.m. on Aug. 11 and run through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 18, during which shoppers will be able to put deposits on a bag. However, Alibaba VVIP members will be granted exclusive presale access a day ahead of other shoppers on Aug. 10.
The Loewe event is the latest in a recent push by Alibaba to connect international luxury brands with increasingly affluent Chinese consumers. Last week, the company launched the Luxury Pavilion on Tmall to bring the same brand exclusivity and tailored shopping experience that consumers would get in a brick-and-mortar store to the world of e-commerce. The pavilion currently includes brands such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, La Mer, Maserati, Guerlain (LVMH) and Zenith, and offers them a suite of digital marketing tools, such as Tspace, that helps them to better engage with Tmall’s wealthiest shoppers.
Alibaba’s expertise in New Retail and marketing analytics enables brands to woo younger Chinese consumers, which is helping to grow its base of top-end partners, said Liu Xiuyun, general manager of Tmall’s apparel unit.
The arrival of Alibaba’s new luxury portal coincides with an increase among Chinese consumers to buy luxury goods at home rather than traveling abroad to get them. Those purchases are playing out online, and are only expected to grow in volume. According to global consultancy KPMG, 50 percent of luxury brand sales in China will be made online by 2020.