Walgreens Boots Alliance has taken its first tentative step into Mainland China, opening a flagship store online with Alibaba’s Tmall.
In a statement, the company says the new Boots flagship Tmall Global store gives Chinese consumers access to some of the most popular Boots beauty brands in the UK and the US, launching with No7, Soap & Glory and Boots Cucumber, reflecting Chinese consumers’ “increasing sophistication and appetite for high-quality, international beauty brands”.
Ken Murphy, executive VP at WBA and chief commercial officer and president of global brands, said the flagship provides a great opportunity for the company to “increase the internationalisation of its products and to use the innovative technologies Alibaba has developed”.
“At the same time, our collaboration with Tmall Global complements our presence in wholesale and retail pharmacy in China with a new, fantastic channel, through which we can distribute our beauty brands in a market with almost endless possibilities. Today’s announcement is the first step on a path we believe offers both of us incredible potential for the future.”
Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform is China’s largest B2C marketplace for both Chinese and international brands and retailers, providing a premium shopping experience for China’s consumers.
According to data from Euromonitor, total retail sales of skincare products and make-up products in China reached RMB186.7 billion (US$27.26 billion) and RMB34.4 billion ($5.02 billion) last year, representing year-on-year growth of more than 10 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
Jo Malone joins, too
Meanwhile, British perfume maker Jo Malone London has also opened a store on Tmall, taking its highly customised experience to Chinese consumers.
Aside of the brand’s website, the Alibaba-owned B2C marketplace is Jo Malone London’s only other e-commerce channel in China, the London-based brand said in a statement. Its offering on Tmall will include all items available in China, including its newly launched, limited-edition Blossom Girls collection and Queen of Pop bath and body line.