After years of reconnaissance, China’s online retail giant Alibaba is finally making its step in Europe. It’s undercutting Amazon sellers’ fees to draw distributors; however, it has had mixed outcomes, six sources with direct information on the matter stated.
A flood of small businesses has joined its European platform, AliExpress, in recent months; however, some famous brands are holding back, following the sources.
AliExpress has approached famous brands including Mango, Benetton and Spanish fashion group Tendam, owner of Cortefiel, to appear on the site with limited success, based on five sources concerned in the approaches who rejected to be named because the negotiations were confidential.
Some of the brands didn’t understand the site, whose fashion offerings include an imitation leather miniskirt for around $18, and an acrylic batwing sweater for $14, was the right showcase for their merchandise, sources stated.
A senior executive at one large fashion firm, which refused AliExpress’s approaches in Europe, stated its brand needed to be in an “aspirational setting.” Another reported the AliExpress platform as “a work in progress.”
Nevertheless, the chief of AliExpress, Wang Mingqiang, said in an interview at Alibaba’s HQs in Hangzhou, that overseas brands needed time to understand the service.
With space to design their shops within the platform, manufacturers can build their homepage, with photos and video, to create the feel they need, he added.
Both Benetton and Tendam refused to comment formally on whether they had been approached.
Neither brand sells on AliExpress; however, they do sell on Amazon.
Mango stated it didn’t sell on AliExpress with no further details. It doesn’t sell on Amazon.