Saint Laurent is expanding its e-commerce reach in Mainland China by joining online sales giant JD.com’s recently launched Toplife platform, the company said on Monday.
The luxury channel aimed at rich Chinese shoppers gives brands control over every aspect of their flagship’s appearance, which in Saint Laurent’s case means featuring not just its latest women’s and men’s collections but also relevant videos, campaigns and news.
Saint Laurent will benefit from state-of-the-art functionalities like same-day delivery, round-the-clock customer service, a large range of local payment methods and a special warehouse equipped with dust-free sealed spaces, strict temperature and humidity controls, and robotics.
Clients from major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be able to order Saint Laurent products through Luxury Express, Toplife’s white-glove personal delivery service.
“Thanks to the sophisticated logistics network and the personalized platform provided by our partnership with Toplife, Saint Laurent will be able to implement its omnichannel development in China, securing a top-level luxury journey to our clients,” said Francesca Bellettini, president and CEO of Saint Laurent.
“This partnership will offer an exceptional, coherent experience across different distribution channels, maintaining Saint Laurent’s privileged relationship with customers,” she added.
Saint Laurent last August joined the luxury speed-to-market crowd in China via a deal with the retail platform Farfetch, after JD made a significant investment in the London-based luxury platform. That followed the launch of dedicated Chinese websites from brands including Bally, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Toplife was launched in October as a direct competitor to larger rival Alibaba’s Luxury Pavilion, a section within its B2C Tmall site, which was unveiled in August as part of its New Retail initiative to reach out to the country’s super-wealthy online shoppers.
Toplife counts brands including La Perla, Emporio Armani and Rimowa on its roster, while Luxury Pavilion carries labels such as Burberry, Hugo Boss and Guerlain.
“The addition of the beloved Saint Laurent brand is sure to excite our more discerning shoppers and help Toplife become China’s destination of choice for luxury e-commerce,” said Richard Liu, founder and CEO of JD.com.
JD is an e-commerce powerhouse in China, but it also has a big credit business and owns a vast logistics network that can reach 600 million people with one-day shipping. The company’s largest shareholder is Tencent, the owner of social media giant WeChat, making for a powerful data brew that can be used to target customers very specifically.