The official Coach Tmall flagship shop has been abandoned.
Luxury bag brand Coach Inc says it will replace its shop on Alibaba Group Holding’s business-to-consumer sales site by selling directly through its own website and on its WeChat account, the social-media app run by Alibaba rival Tencent Holdings. Coach has offered coupons and launched a media campaign on WeChat.
A Coach spokeswoman says the company wants to consolidate resources and will continue to look for innovative ways to leverage digital and social platforms.
Alibaba says Coach products are still available on TMall from other merchants.
Selling shoes, purses and accessories, Coach was one of the first US luxury brands to launch an official store on the TMall. It started with a temporary pop-up store from December 2011 to January 2012, opening a full store in 2015.
Early this month, nearly a dozen trade groups wrote to Alibaba complaining that it was not doing enough to combat counterfeits. And the loss of Coach comes as Alibaba faces added scrutiny from a US trade agency as to whether it should be added to a list of marketplaces that are known for selling counterfeits.
Alibaba’s Taobao consumer-to-consumer marketplace was on the list years ago, but was removed in 2012.
Meanwhile, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s Guerlain has just opened a flagship store on TMall, and MakeUp Forever and Sephora, two other brands under the LVMH umbrella, also have TMall stores. Also, the cosmetics unit of Salvatore Ferragamo will launch its store later this month.