Net-a-Porter is to expand into Asia, following the acquisition of ecommerce platform Shouke.
Net-a-Porter, which comprises online retailers Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and The Outnet, will integrate Shouke, an existing ecommerce platform based in China, into the company in a phased launch starting in March.
Theoutnet.com, Net-a-Porter’s online designer outlet store, will form the first phase of the Asia-Pacific expansion plan. Shouke.com will cease trading and re-launch in March as a Chinese-language version of The Outnet, Theoutnet.cn.
Phase two will see the 2013 opening of Net-a-Porter’s third distribution centre, located in Hong Kong. Following the opening, customers in Hong Kong will be able to benefit from same-day delivery (the company currently promises same day deliveries for orders in London and Manhattan).
The group will then introduce a Chinese language version of the Net-a-Porter iPad app, before launching a simplified Chinese language website to serve mainland China.
Mr Porter will continue to ship to customers from the UK distribution centre for the time being. Plans are in place to ship product from the Hong Kong distribution centre and to offer a simplified Chinese language website at a later date.
Mark Sebba, chief executive of Net-a-Porter, said: “Asia-Pacific is a core market for the Net-a-Porter Group. As a global business, we have been retailing to customers in the region and have built a strong customer base since launch in 2000.”
The three original founders of Shouke.com, Paul Teague, Adrienne Ma and Richard Chen, will form the core of the Net-a-Porter Group leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.
Paul Teague, President of APAC (Asia Pacific), spoke of the “enormous demand” for access to designer collections in Asia and said, “The Shouke teams in Shanghai and Hong Kong are delighted to be joining the team at The Net-a-Porter Group, the leaders in global luxury online fashion retail.”
The Net-a-Porter group’s ultimate goal is to be able to deliver orders over night to any customer in the world.