In a big vote of confidence in the luxury e-commerce sector in China, the UK e-tailer Net-A-Porter has today confirmed its acquisition of a Chinese high-fashion online mall, Shouke (after hearing rumors of it yesterday). That site will soon close and then be magically transformed into the Chinese version of the company’s discount couture outlet, The Outnet. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.
The new Chinese site will go online on March 19th at theoutnet.cn (separate to the existing global site). The UK company has said that the Shouke startup team, led by Hong Konger Adrienne Ma, will form the core management of not just the new site, but the whole Net-A-Porter Asia-Pacific region operations as well. And so Ms. Ma becomes VP of the company’s APAC business, responsible for purchasing, marketing and content; while fellow co-founder Tian Bao-long will be Net-A-Porter’s new APAC president; Richard Chen will serve as president of its China operations.
The Chinese Outnet site will, like its international cousin, offer seasonal discounts on fashion items from over a hundreds brands such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Jil Sander. But it’s not just women who’ll get something from this, as the UK firm’s menswear division, Mr. Porter, will be heading to China as well.
A Hong Kong distribution center is being planned and will be ready for 2013, serving the new Chinese site as well as its expanding operations in the region.
In today’s announcement, Net-A-Porter Group CEO, Mark Sebba, said that the “Asia-Pacific market is one of the Group’s core markets” and it could offer its new potential customers in the region unrivaled customer service. He added that the new distribution centre will mean deliveries within 24-hours.