Chinese presence of western retailers in fashion luxury is changing.
Over the years we have seen retailers shift from just shipping to China as an option, with logistics still rooted either in the West or in a more accessible Asian country like Singapore, to establishing a dedicated mainland China logistic.
Pressures by Brands
One of the most recent retailers to do so was Net-A-Porter: By creating a separate website, with a dedicated product selection and dedicated logistics, it surprised analysts with short selection of brands and products.
There is indeed a pressure from brands to limit global reach of multibrand retailers. Larger brands (Gucci, Prada, etc) will prioritize their own direct distribution (i.e. Gucci.com, Prada.com website) over multibarnd retailers in strategic market, especially if in those markets it is very difficult/expensive to operate.
We will expect more larger brands to reduce their exposure in China on multibrand retailers.
Selling directly to China has its challenges. Let aside the economic cost of organizing the operations on the ground, regulation and fiscal implications (not irrelvant) retailers enter in fact a market where the competition with local giants is ferocious.
We are experiencing several collaborations that create a nested offering: multibrands selling on chinese marketplaces, or even western marketplaces (M1) selling on Chinese marketplaces (M2) where the merchant of M1 is a multibrand retailer as well.