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Amazon opens a second storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall

March 6, 2015 05:24 PM
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Amazon China, Amazon.com Inc.’s Chinese subsidiary, has opened a store on Alibaba Group’s marketplace Tmall.com. The Amazon store on Tmall launched Thursday and sells imported food, women’s shoes, toys and kitchenware.   

This is not the first Tmall store for Amazon. The U.S. e-retailer opened its first Tmall store in November to sell Kindle e-book readers.

Amazon China, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer China 500, mainly sells products on its own Chinese site.

Imported products are the most popular items on Amazon.cn recently. The number of international brands selling on Amazon.cn grew 30% in 2014, Amazon says, and 55 international brands that sell exclusively on Amazon in China grew sales 17-fold in 2014.

“Although Amazon has operated in China for many years, it didn’t grow its market share as quickly as its Chinese competitors,” says Mo Daiqing, an analyst for the China E-Commerce Research Center. “This Tmall store could add an extra channel to Amazon into China while Alibaba gets more global products to offer Chinese consumers. I think it is a win-win.”

“One of our visions is that customers in China, no matter where they are located, can purchase any product they want to buy from the world through Amazon. Opening an Amazon International Brand Flagship Store on Tmall is one of the efforts to provide additional channel and access to the high-quality international products Amazon can bring to Chinese customers,” says Brandy Niu, director of international brands, Amazon China. 

Amazon says all the imported products, such as nuts from the California-based Blue Diamond Growers, have inventory inside of China and Amazon China handles delivery through its own logistics network. Amazon operates 15 fulfillment centers in China.

Amazon also says about 25% of brands in the new online store sell exclusively via Amazon in China, including Italian fashion brand Logan and Spain’s Panama Jack footwear brand. 

Many Chinese e-retailers, even some large web merchants, have opened stores on Alibaba’s platform. According to Internet Retailer China 500, 60% of the Top 20 Chinese e-retailers, including  Xiaomi and Yhd.com, have opened stores on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall.com in the past few years.

Xiaomi is No.3 in the Internet Retailer China 500; Yhd.com is No. 6.

“We welcome Amazon to the Alibaba ecosystem, and their presence will further broaden the selection of products and elevate the shopping experience for Chinese consumers on Tmall,” a spokeswoman for Alibaba Group says.

Alibaba accounts for about 80% of the e-retail market in China and its gross merchandise volume is larger than the total e-retail market in the United States. The value of goods sold on of Alibaba’s Chinese e-retail platform grew about 48% to 2274 billion yuan ($362.42 billion) in 2014 from 1542 billion yuan in 2013 ($245.80 billion), according to Alibaba’s financial report.   

 

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