Retail in Asia

In Markets

Yoox Net-a-Porter ends Alibaba joint venture signalling China exit

Luxury fashion platform Yoox Net-a-Porter is shuttering its China business, signalling a shift in strategic direction for the Richemont-owned company.

SEE ALSO: Leaders from Yoox Net-a-Porter, Lacoste, OntheList, and more on key marketing trends

A spokesperson for the Swiss luxury conglomerate said the China closure was made “in the context of a global Yoox Net-a-Porter plan aimed at focusing investments and resources on its core and more profitable geographies.”

Yoox Net-a-Porter operated in China under a joint venture, Fengmao, with Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, which will be liquidated, according to multiple reports.

Launching in London in 2000, Net-a-Porter is an online platform showcasing a vast range of premium apparel and accessories for women, before launching a men’s edition, Mr Porter, in 2011. In 2015, the platform merged with Italy’s Yoox, forming YNAP.

Net-a-porter entered the Chinese market in 2013 and launched a mainland China operation with Claire Chung appointed as general manager in 2015. The same year, Net-a-porter’s off-season sister operation, The Outnet, exited the Chinese market.

In 2018, Richemont signed a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group to bring the retail offerings of YNAP to Chinese consumers via Fengmao, in a bid to ramp up its operations on the mainland.

Richemont has been seeking to offload its majority stake in YNAP for years, but a sale to online rival Farfetch fell through at the end of 2023.

In its most recent trading update, Richemont revealed that sales at YNAP declined by 14 percent in fiscal 2024 “in a challenging environment for luxury e-commerce.”