UK etailer BrandAlley has received a multimillion-pound investment from Chinese private Sales site Vipshop, which has taken a minority stake.
As part of the deal, Vipshop will sell a selection of the British heritage brands stocked on BrandAlley in China from the end of November. BrandAlley declined to say which ones.
BrandAlley chief executive Rob Feldmann said it was a great opportunity for UK labels to break into China. “We have a really strong relationship with ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories brands and this now allows us to offer them something different.
“It’s great for those who want to clear excess stock abroad, but it’s also good for those who are interested in selling full-price in China and want to test the market with discounted product first.”
BrandAlley will use the investment to fuel the growth of its UK business.
The etailer launched a TV ad campaign this season to drive traffic and will invest in its IT operation to develop a more personalised offer. This may take the form of personal emails or targeted messages on the site.
Feldmann said: “We want to be able to offer a more targeted shopping experience – it’s a key element for our future growth. Our mobile business is very strong, so we really want to push the company to be mobile first.”
BrandAlley UK was launched as a joint venture between BrandAlley France and News International in 2009. It stocks premium fashion brands such as Jaeger, Bolongaro Trevor, Armani and Michael kors. BrandAlley France launched in 2005.
For the nine months to December 31 2014 turnover at BrandAlley was £11.8m and operating losses amounted to £3m.
Vipshop, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, had sales of US$3.8 bn (£2.5bn) in 2014.