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After almost two years of strategic collaboration, Farfetch has finally launched a digital flagship store on JD.com.

Farfetch

The online marketplace for luxury boutiques has been trying everything to make its own Chinese website successful, including using JD.com insights into the behaviour of Chinese consumers and taking advantage of its logistics capabilities through its JD Luxury Express service.

JD.com invested $397 million in Farfetch in 2017, becoming one of its largest shareholders. It currently holds a 16.5% stake in the London-based ecommerce business.

But the two companies are more intricately tied, with Farfetch acquiring JD.com’s luxury goods platform Toplife earlier this year to merge it into existing its China business in a transaction described as a “win-win” for both brands.

Farfetch is putting greater emphasis on the Chinese market in recent periods, as Chinese shoppers are expected to account for 35% of global luxury consumption by 2020.

Many western luxury brands have tried to crack China on their own and failed, struggling to target consumers effectively in this very different landscape.

Despite efforts to work around it, Farfetch could not ignore the reach of JD.com’s website and app, which have more than 300 million active users. By launching a flagship store on JD.com, Farfetch will have a “‘Level 1 entry point on the JD.com app”, offering millions of Chinese shoppers instant access to more than 3,000 brands via the Farfetch network of more than 1,000 luxury brand and boutique partners.

Judy Liu, managing director of Farfetch China, said: “I am delighted to be able to offer JD.com’s customers direct access to the broadest selection of luxury fashion online, and to be able to offer luxury brands the Premier Luxury Gateway to China for executing on their digital strategy in China. We have been able to do this, in significant part, thanks to the enthusiasm and support from our brand partners. Brands crave ever-better access to the Chinese market, and we are thrilled to deliver this for them.”

“This is an important expansion of our strategic partnership with JD.com, which strengthens Farfetch’s China business as part of our truly global offering. Being able to offer the full suite of Farfetch’s technology and logistics platform to brands wanting to reach high-end Chinese consumers is a major competitive advantage as we seek to continue to grow market share in the rapidly expanding online luxury market.”

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