Net-A-Porter Group Limited, the global online luxury fashion retailer, has acquired the Chinese discounted, members’ only luxury e-tailer Shouke.com, and has confirmed that it will be integrated into the company. The acquisition forms the first phase of the luxury retailers emergence into the Chinese luxury market, and to kick-start the Asia-Pacific launch it will the relaunch Shouke.com into TheOutnet.cn, a Chinese language version of TheOutnet.com. The site will be unveiled in March and will showcase an edited selection of merchandise from 100 leading international designers with discounts of up to 80 per cent.

After the launch, Net-a-Porter will introduce a Chinese translated version of the brand’s acclaimed iPad app, followed by the launch of a simplified Chinese language website serving mainland China.

The three founders of Shouke will serve as board members on the Asia-Pacific division of Net-a-Porter: Paul Teague, President of APAC (Asia Pacific), Adrienne Ma, Senior Vice President of APAC for Merchandising, Marketing and Content, and Richard Chen, President, China.

In order to serve the Asia-Pacific region, Net-a-Porter has also announced the launch of a distribution centre in Hong Kong. Scheduled to open in 2013, this will be the group’s third centre, which means that Hong Kong customers like those in London and Manhattan will be offered same-day delivery.

With China being a critical market for the brand, there are also plans for MrPorter.com, which even though it will continue to ship to customers from the UK distribution centre for the moment, there is talk of offering a simplified Chinese language website at a later date.

“Asia-Pacific is a core market for the Net-A-Porter Group. We have been retailing to local customers in the region, and have built a strong base since our launch in 2000,” said Mark Sebba, Net-a-porter’s chief executive. “Like many businesses in the luxury sector, we have seen huge growth in recent years. This is the first step in the next chapter in the growth of the Net-A-Porter Group.”

Paul Teague, President of APAC added, “The Shouke teams in Shanghai and Hong Kong are delighted to be joining the team at the Net-a-Porter Group. We have a wealth of experience in the Asian market, where there is enormous demand for access to designer collections. We now look forward to delivering Net-a-Porter’s unique offering, merging content and commerce and unrivalled service across the APAC region.”

The Net-a-Porter group currently sells 400 brands in 170 countries. After the launch of Net-a-Porter.com in 2000, the company founded The Outnet in 2009, which was followed by menswear site Mr Porter last year.

 

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