SHANGHAI/NEW YORK: Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com has taken the runway at New York Fashion Week as it seeks to raise its profile as the Chinese home of international fashion brands.
The online shopping portal hosted its first show at the global fashion event to promote various Chinese designers, but also to underline the benefits of partnering with e-commerce outlets in mainland China.
According to Quartz, China's booming e-commerce landscape is a huge attraction for American retailers, with more regular online shoppers than the entire population of the US. The market offers tremendous scale even as China weathers ongoing economic issues.
JD.com, one of China's largest online retailers, recently launched a platform exclusively for American outlets and stocks mid-price casual brands, such as Calvin Klein, Nine West, Converse, and Under Armour.
The website has also launched fashion malls for South Korean, Japanese and Italian brands and hosted a similar runway show in Italy to raise its profile there last year. Competitor Alibaba also offers a similar service, even offering FMCG products under country-themed umbrellas.
International brands are popular in the country, where wearing global brands is often considered a show of wealth and success, particularly among younger generations.
E-commerce portals are an attractive proposition for international brands in the Chinese market because they enable them to have a presence on the ground to import directly.
Operating through platforms like Alibaba or JD.com allows brands to rack up huge sales, avoid time-consuming and costly paperwork and leverage the platforms' advanced logistics and delivery services which, in most instances, can bring their products much deeper into China's provincial areas than their own systems.
According to estimates from eMarketer, China is "easily" the world's largest e-commerce market and it is expected to be worth more than $1.5 trillion within two years.
Data sourced from Quartz, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff