Alibaba is continuing to chase declining stock value and has decided to pour a rumoured $100 million into flash fashion platform #Mei.Com. This is in addition to sinking $200 million into SingPost’s logistics and distribution resources. Could this be an indication the ecommerce giant is resisting efforts by Superdry and Ragtrade to invade its turf?
Alibaba to Lead Mei.Com Drive
Reuters quote Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang as saying he will “form a team within his Tmall business-to-consumer platform to help Mei.Com expand its user base, product offerings, logistics and IT infrastructure”. This will add flash to the ecommerce giant’s reputation among other foreign luxury brands, some still suspecting intellectual property violations.
The CEO goes on to say that “Alibaba will help Mei.Com and other brand partners enter our ecosystem to allow more efficiency in helping them locate consumer groups, conduct brand marketing and establish an online supply chain system.” With the added logistics power of SingPost this seems a distinctly practical possibility.
Mei.Com’s Hand in the Fashion Game
Alibaba’s latest incursion into clothing is so inward facing I failed to find an English-language version of its website. Its product line suggests it aims to convert Chinese teens and twenties aspiring for the carefree western summery look. It collaborates with over 2,450 brands that include Zegna, Longchamp and Armani.
Likely Benefit for Alibaba’s Fortunes
Despite efforts to stem the decline in values, technology stocks including the online shopping industry continue to take hard knocks. Alibaba itself is approaching its valuation nadir despite a historic initial purchase offer in 2014. The Mei.Com initiative may help extend its customer life-cycle as teens move to twenty-something’s and then prosperous thirties. “We hope that Mei.com will exert its advantages to create synergy with Tmall in providing more premium luxury goods to consumers,” the CEO added.