Permanent Link to Giorgio Armani: first fashion brand with online experience in China

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani arranges to tap the Chinese marketplace with a new online shop that opened Friday for Emporio Armani in one of the first such projects in China by a chief fashion brand.

“In view of the increasing enthusiasm for online shopping and the growing importance of the Chinese market, I have decided to open an Emporio Armani online store in China,” Armani was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We have identified a significant group of fashion consumers who will certainly appreciate this new approach to shopping, one that becomes more popular every day,” Armani stated, referring to the Chinese market.

Online retail sales in China, which has the world’s hugest web population of at least 420 million, soared 117 per cent last year to 39 billion dollars (29 billion euros), according to iResearch, a Beijing-based research firm. US fashion monster Gap launched an online shop in China earlier this month and Wal-Mart – the world’s largest retailer – has said it too plans an Internet presence in China soon. Apple opened an online store in October.

Armani assumed it was “the first fashion brand to offer a ‘flagship store’ online experience in China.” The website is backed by Yoox, an Italian online fashion retailer that has developed rapidly during the international economic crisis.

The Armani Group possesses more than 5,000 employees and 13 factories, producing clothes, as well as accessories, eyewear, watches, jewellery and perfume. The group owns 609 stores in 46 countries around the world.