Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) is expanding into China in a big way with its new partnership with Alibaba Group (BABA) .
The casual clothing company is launching a store on July 26 on Alibaba’s Tmall, a business-to-consumer platform that was launched in April 2008 for Chinese businesses and opened to businesses outside of China in 2014. Previously, Abercrombie’s Hollister brand launched a store on Tmall in 2014.
Abercrombie is taking advantage of the 454 million annual active buyers across all of Alibaba’s platforms, including Tmall. This group of users is particularly valuable for the clothing company because its brand is geared toward consumers in their 20s and 75% of Alibaba’s users are under the age of 35.
Currently, Abercrombie already has 10 brick-and-mortar stores in mainland China, as well as local site abercrombie.cn. Worldwide, the company operates 278 stores in 20 countries.
“Building on our Hollister brand’s successful partnership with the leader in China’s online retail space, we are excited to bring our A&F brand experience to the broader Chinese market, beyond the reach of our physical stores through Tmall,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.
As of March 2017, 75% of the consumer brands that ranked in Forbes Top 100 World’s Most Valuable Brands have established a presence on Tmall, Alibaba said in its latest earnings report. The site is valuable for retailers not only for the increase in sales but because Alibaba’s data gives them insight into the Chinese market when it comes to launching new products, building their brand, customer acquisition, and customer lifecycle management.
For the fiscal year 2017, the total amount of items sold on Tmall jumped 29% year over year to $227 billion.
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