A representative from the Chinese B2C retail website has confirmed that the company plans to launch its luxury website Toplife.com in November 2011.
Online recruitment information of 360buy.com shows that the company is hiring a luxury goods procurement director, whose responsibilities include establishing and developing suppliers and sales channels. The company also requires the director to be familiar with the supply channels and market changes of different products and optimize the product categories of the company.
At the end of 2010, 360buy.com’s chairman and chief executive officer Liu Qiangdong said that the company may use the domain Toplife.com to launch a luxury website. In May 2011, Liu visited several American luxury branded stores and said the company will do a careful study.
The Chinese luxury B2C industry has been growing rapidly in recently years. According to statistics provided by the market research firm Analysys International, several Chinese luxury retail websites, including Shangpin.com, Xiu.com, Vipstore.com, Ihush.com, and Ihaveu.com, have recently completed their financing activities. In addition, many large Internet enterprises entered the Chinese luxury e-commerce sector. In January 2011, NetEase.com launched its luxury Internet shopping platform; in July, Tencent invested in the diamond B2C website Kela.cn; and in August, Sina.com launched its luxury shopping platform.
Analysys International’s report stated that in 2011, the total trade value in the Chinese Internet luxury market is expected to reach CNY16 billion.
At present, China is the world’s second largest luxury consumer. Latest report released by the World Luxury Association predicted that by 2012, China’s luxury consumption will be over USD14.6 billion, making it exceed Japan to become the world’s largest luxury consumer.