New York-based clothing label, Theory, known for its minimalist, precisely tailored wardrobe essentials, has opened its first online store in China on Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform and its dedicated site for high-end shoppers, Tmall Luxury Pavilion.
The stores offer all items in Theory’s womenswear and menswear collections available in its brick-and-mortar stores, including its newest Good Wool and autumn-winter 2018 lines. Offline, the brand currently counts 33 stores across 17 cities in China, a number it expects to double in three years.
“Tmall’s partnership with Theory is a milestone in our continued market leadership in China as the premier B2C platform for fashion. We will empower Theory through our unparalleled data-driven consumer insight and New Retail technology to serve and discover fashion consumers across China, as well as build lasting relationship with customers,” said Jessica Liu, president of Tmall Fashion and Luxury.
As part of the partnership agreement, Theory and Tmall will work more closely to leverage consumer insights and offer personalized New Retail experiences, starting with providing the same bonus points, sales benefits and exclusive birthday perks to Theory’s hundreds of thousands of VIP loyalty club members, both online and offline, for a more-seamless shopping experience across all channels.
Tmall also provided the brand with marketing support, such as promoting its popular merino wool and cashmere clothing on Tmall Cashmere Category Day, an online-to-offline, multi-brand marketing event that ran from Sept. 24 to 26. The category is specially highlighted because of growing popularity of cashmere goods among the 30-40 age group on the platform, with the most rapid sales growth coming from younger consumers under 30 years old, the e-commerce platform said.
“We will continue to roll out similar campaigns with Theory. At the same time, the brand has already merged its online and offline membership system to ensure the most complete set of rewards and services for its customers across all its online and offline channels,” said Anita Lyu, vice president of Tmall Fashion.
Owned by Japan’s apparel giant Fast Retailing, Theory has pioneered a new category in the market now known as contemporary fashion — garments and accessories with designer aesthetics and premium quality, but sold at more-affordable price points. Contemporary fashion labels include Massimo Dutti, Charles & Keith and H&M Group’s COS.
Aside from Theory, Fast Retailing also owns fashion brands, including Austrian contemporary label Helmut Lang, Los Angeles-based demim brand, J Brand and French lingerie brand, Princesse tam.tam, as well as premium fashion brand Comptoir Des Cotonniers. Two of its brands, Uniqlo and GU, have already opened flagship stores on the Tmall platform.