Feb 28, 2019
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'Win-win' deal as JD.com's Toplife merges into Farfetch to target Chinese luxury shoppers

Feb 28, 2019

Farfetch simply can’t seem to stop grabbing headlines at the moment and its latest on Thursday morning was that it has extended its strategic partnership deal with JD.com (which is one of its biggest shareholders) to “build the premier luxury gateway to China.”

The Chinese high-spending shopper is the key target for most luxury brands at present - Farfetch

JD’s luxury Toplife platform will merge into Farfetch’s existing China business while the London headquartered luxury e-tail giant will get “Level 1 access on the JD app.”

For JD’s 300 million customers, it will mean access to over 3,000 luxury brands through Farfetch’s more than 1,000 luxury brand and boutique partners network, with the two firms hailing it as a “win-win collaboration.”

As mentioned, the two already have a relationship, which began in July 2017, with Farfetch having leveraged JD’s logistics capabilities in China, as well as well as its local consumer behaviour insights. And of course, with JD being a big Farfetch shareholder, it was almost inevitable that the two would become closer over time.

Farfetch has been heavily focused on the Chinese market in recent periods and its earlier purchase of CuriosityChina, a major integrated marketing and social commerce company, underlined this. 

On Thursday, Farfetch said that its latest business deal will allow it to “offer the full suite of Farfetch’s technology and logistics platform to brands wanting to reach luxury consumers in China, which accounts for significant growth in the luxury industry.”

JD itself has also been focused on the luxury consumer in its domestic market and has been working directly with luxury brands to offer an end-to-end upscale shopping experience, including “customer service to logistics, with luxury warehousing and ‘white glove’ delivery via JD Luxury Express.” It has also focused on omnichannel luxury partnerships and will continue to expand its direct partnerships with high-end names.

Just a day after announcing a deal to operate the Harrods e-tail site, Farfetch chief José Neves said: “We believe our Level 1 access with JD.com ‘closes the circle' and will be transformational for the luxury industry’s digital landscape in China. With this agreement, and our previous strategic investments in China including our acquisition of CuriosityChina, we now offer luxury brands a one-stop solution to develop their digital strategies in accessing the engaged and sophisticated audience in this important market.”

JD’s strategy chief Jon Liao added that the deal will see the two "combining the best of global and local market expertise in the luxury segment. This is an important step for JD.com in developing its global fashion and luxury ecosystem. In just over a year of operation, Toplife has worked with many of the world’s top brands, and has grown to become the platform of choice among China’s discerning luxury consumers and brands. Luxury is an integral part of our fashion offering.”

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