French luxury goods house Cartier has opened a flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, making it the first Richemont-owned business to launch a standalone boutique on Alibaba Group’s dedicated channel for luxury and premium brands.
Cartier said it would offer a wide range of jewelry, timepieces and leather goods in the new store, which begins presales next week. Two new products will also be making their exclusive global debuts on Tmall Luxury Pavilion: the new Juste un Clou small model bracelet with diamonds and Guirlande chain wallet bag. The high-end jeweler will also offer Pavilion shoppers the same personalized experiences available at its brick-and-mortar retail outlets, from complimentary engraving and embossing to gift-wrapping and customized card services for select items.
To mark its Pavilion launch, Cartier will use the new Tmall Flagship 2.0 store format to offer the first 288 customers exclusive services, such as custom engraving on its classic red jewelry boxes and doorstep flower-and-gift deliveries by the brand’s suited-and-booted bellboys. It will also engage consumers through Tmall’s marketing tools like Super Brand Day, which rallies all of the resources across Alibaba’s ecosystem to create a smaller version of the company’s annual 11.11 mega-sale for a single brand.
“Alibaba is committed to supporting the growth and innovation of global brands,” said Mike Hu, head of Tmall Fashion, Luxury and FMCG. “We are delighted to partner with Cartier and help them connect with today’s Gen Z and high-end shoppers through Alibaba’s deep consumer insights and rich technology and marketing tools, such as Tmall Flagship 2.0.”
China’s sales of personal luxury goods last year hit $28.47 billion, an increase of 13.6% from 2018, according to estimates by market research company Euromonitor International. That figure is forecasted to grow and reach $43.6 billion in 2024. Chinese shoppers at home and abroad would account for 40% of the world’s spending on luxury goods by 2025, as predicted by an April report by global consultancy McKinsey & Company.
President and CEO of Cartier International, Cyrille Vigneron, said the Pavilion launch marks a new milestone for the luxury goods house since it entered the China market in 1992, and that the move reflects the “pioneering spirit embedded in the Maison’s DNA.”
“Given the increasingly complex e-commerce landscape in China, this strategic launch will provide significant opportunities for Cartier to embrace China’s fast-moving retail environment in order to further strengthen our commitment to our Chinese clients,” he said.
The store also allows Chinese consumers to engage with the brand in ever-more convenient and innovative ways, added Guillaume Alix, chief executive of Cartier China. “In China, Cartier has the privilege to engage with a young and sophisticated audience that is used to experiencing online journeys as much as offline ones. It is critical for them to have the opportunity to interact with our Maison through a rich variety of touch points,” he said.