Retail in Asia

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Chinese e-commerce startup GDFS targets travel retail growth


GDFS, which describes itself as travel retail’s first membership-based global vertical e-commerce company, has outlined bold growth ambitions for the channel.

In an interview, Barry Chen and Diana Xi said that GDFS is ideally placed to help international travel retailers increase sales to Chinese travelers.

Consumers pay an annual membership fee of US$118 to benefit from shopping opportunities through the GDFS website and the physical and online offers of its overseas partners. Already some 120,000 members have signed up.

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The company plans to major on the legitimacy of its product offer and that of any overseas duty free partners.

It wants to work with foreign travel retailers, whose offers it will promote to the GDFS membership base. Those retailers in turn will be asked to provide members with shopping privileges and discounts. GDFS offers free shipping back to Mainland China.

Assuring consumers of genuine product is key to GDFS’s approach. GDFS estimates the daigou market to be worth some €10 billion annually.

“We want to bring more customers to consume in the duty free shops and provide value-added services for them to improve both loyalty and purchasing power,” the company said.

The company is also targeting shopping malls and villages in Europe. “We want to cooperate with duty free retailers and shopping malls around the world,” Chen explained.

“When Chinese people travel abroad they have a limited quota to be able to bring back  into China. “Travellers do not need to worry about their luggage being overweight. We will ship back to China for them. In this way every passenger can purchase more.”

(Source: Moodie Davitt)