- Simone Preuss
Everyone wants a slice of the Chinese market – be it in China or through
Chinese customers outside their home country as Chinese consumers are still
spending, despite the slowing economy and an ongoing trade war with the
United States. Spanish department store chain El Corte Inglés – the largest
one in Europe and third largest in the world – knows this, given that about
150,000 visitors from China find their way into one of close to 100
locations in Spain and Portugal every year.
These are not only an increasing number of leisure or business travelers
from China – thanks to more direct flights from China to destinations in
Spain – but also Chinese expats working or studying in Spain. The
department store chain has been doing everything in their power to make the
shopping experience as pleasant and efficient for Chinese customers as
possible – from finding the desired product and completing the tax free
process in store to being helped by a salesperson who speaks Chinese and
being able to pay through known providers like Alipay, as Javier Fernández
Andrino, El Corte Inglés’ director of international marketing & luxury
strategy, revealed in a recent interview with Jing Daily.
Spanish retail giant pushes with international expansion
Now, the Spanish department store giant is planning to push its
internationalisation ahead with a move into the Chinese market through a
partnership with Secoo, one of China’s biggest marketplaces representing 15
percent of the luxury market, as reported by MDS. Luxury brands
like Prada, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu are also selling their products
through the marketplace.
El Corte Ingles has entered into an agreement with Secoo to sell its
children’s and infant fashion brands Tizzas, Brotes and Cotton Juice
through the platform in China, keeping the possibility open of adding other
brands to it in the future.
At the end of last year, the Spanish department store chain had
announced a deal with Alibaba to sell its products through
platforms like Tmall and AliExpress, showing its seriousness to enter the
Chineses market. “We are looking forward to joining forces with them to
provide consumers in China and worldwide with the greatest products and
experience,” commented Rodrigo Cipriani Foresio, the Alibaba Group’s
managing director for Spain, at the time.
In addition, being active on social media and engaging Chinese consumers
there is crucial. “We know Chinese digital and social media is booming and
we leverage two main Chinese social media platforms to keep communicating
with Chinese shopping lovers: Weibo and WeChat. There are two ways to
encourage Chinese consumers to share about El Corte Inglés: One, through
high-quality content. In the weekly content we push out, we focus on
content quality and feature current fashion trends and inspirational topics
with charming imagery. The goal is for the viewer to want to share this
social content with their friends,” added Fernández Andrino.
Photo courtesy of El Corte Inglés