Market study: Glamour-Sales in China

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Glamour-Sales is a young yet ambitious shopping community website that markets high-end European fashion brands and unique lifestyle products and services. Glamour Sales already runs two websites of authorized flash sales with 800 brands: www.glamour-sales.com.cn in China and www.glamour-sales.com in Japan. During flash sales, online members/buyers take advantage of limited-time discounts on exclusive products. Glamour Sales is the only website in Asia that operates as a direct partner for international luxury, fashion and lifestyle brands and has 1 million members in China and 600,000 members in Japan.

In 2010, Glamour Sales completed its first round of financing, securing AXA Private Equity and Mandra Capital as investors. AXA Private Equity, a European-based private equity firm with an established business in the Asian market, provides a significant proportion of the additional funds required by Glamour Sales for its expansion drive. Mandra Capital, an Asian-based investments holding company, assists Glamour Sales in deriving and executing its future strategic development, corporate finance and merger and acquisition strategies.

CEO of Glamour Sales, Thibault Villet has a good deal of experience working in luxury sales. He has spent much of his career in Asia, working in senior roles for L’Oreal and Coach. As vice president for L’Oreal in China in charge of the Luxury Product Division, he helped launch many of its leading brands, including Shu Unemara, and established Lancome as a market leader in China. After a brief stint in Japan, he returned to China with Coach, where he negotiated the buy-back of its distribution segment from a local partner, launched a new flagship store in Hong Kong and helped reposition the brand with a renewed focus on retail service. Villet’s latest venture is to bring the concept of private sales to China.

Glamour Sales initially launched in Japan where it built up 500,000 loyal members and then expanded to China April 2010. This online platform provides a unique way for brands to clear their end of season stock, while still maintaining a sense of prestige and exclusivity among members. Mr Villet’s experience and connections in the industry have proved invaluable in this start-up process. Since the business was established, it has worked directly with 350 brands. It acts as the authorized distributor for each product for a very short and defined period. The majority of its sales revolve around apparel, accessories and cosmetics, but it also sells watches, jewelry and shoes. Villet believes Glamour Sales only got to its current position through word-of-mouth, but the importance the company places on a positive customer experience. 

In 2012 March, Neiman Marcus Inc. bought a stake in a Chinese company to help its online sales of luxury goods in Asia. Neiman Marcus is a luxury specialty retail department store operated by the Neiman Marcus Group in the United States. The company is headquartered in the One Marcus Square building in Downtown Dallas, Texas. The Neiman Marcus Group also owns Bergdorf Goodman specialty retail department stores in New York City and operates its own marketing division, Neiman Marcus Direct, which controls catalogue and online operations under the Horchow, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman names. In this transaction, Neiman Marcus paid $28 million for an investment in Glamour Sales Holding. Through Glamour Sales, Neiman Marcus plans to launch a Chinese e-commerce website by the end of this year. The site will sell full-price, current season merchandise.

China Market Study (on Linkedin about Daxue China Research and on Twitter about DX China Analysis)

 Sources:

Picture Source: Glamour Sales

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