Chinese luxury lifestyle platform Secoo secures exclusive sales rights in China for most of Europe's premium footwear output

European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) signs exclusive agreement with the Beijing-based platform
2017-10-03 01:35 653

ROME and BEIJING, Oct. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) has confirmed that Chinese premium lifestyle platform Secoo Holding Limited (NASDAQ:SECO) has signed an exclusive agreement with CEC and officially become their exclusive partner in China. The agreement covers more than a hundred European footwear brands and, as a result, Secoo Group has secured for the Chinese market the exclusive rights to 87% of the supply of European premium footwear. The number of brands that have signed on has grown by leaps and bounds from the existing 1,000 odd brands.

As an authoritative business organization representing the footwear industry in the EU, CEC's membership includes companies in 18 EU countries as well as 5 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, among them leading shoemakers from the industry's powerhouses of Italy, France, the U.K. and Sweden. The organization represents 87% of the footwear produced in Europe, including the vast majority of the production of the premium name brands. In recent years China has become the main market for high-end footwear. It's a market that is expected to continue growing, as a result, CEC sees China as its next major opportunity. CEC's cooperation with Secoo is based on the Chinese firm's reputation as a purveyor of products that represent a premium lifestyle".

CEC president Cleto Sagripanti said during a recent interview, "I look forward to the cooperation with Secoo Group, as we recognize their efforts in building a premium lifestyle platform". He added, "Many European footwear brands have good quality but lack access to rapidly growing overseas markets such China. Secoo will become a member brand of our organization and help us provide an optimum solution. They already have wide access to China's high-end customers and, at the same time, provide protection for our intellectual properties."

Secoo has become the top choice among influential international brands who want to create a beachhead for their products in China. Secoo, the largest online premium lifestyle platform in Asia with 15.4% of the market, as well as a quarter of the high-end online market in China. The firm, with nine years of dedication to the business, has the best ranking among many of the key indicators for the industry, including 15 million registered users as of the latest update, an average purchase per customer exceeding 3,500 yuan (approx. US$525) and 300,000 SKUs in stock. The strong performance numbers are complemented by an integrated set up combining online with its brick-and-mortar stores, serving to boost the firm's reputation as well as strong loyalty across its customer base.

In an examination of the Chinese high-end products market over the last few years, premium footwear has exhibited ongoing growth and has become the second best-selling product category after handbags. The exclusive cooperation with CEC will, in one go, provide Secoo with the opportunity to solve all issues concerning a sufficient supply of footwear, while also vastly expanding brand diversity. By introducing more high-end brands as well as niche brands with excellent reputations will go a long way in meeting the changing expectations among high-end customers. The expanded line up is expected to strengthen the stickiness across the existing customer base as well as grow the base with new converts. Chinese customers have traditionally had a bias towards the classic "tried and true" premium brands, however, that has been changing of late, with a readiness to take the plunge for designer brands of a more recent vintage as well as higher level of willingness to purchase for the coming season rather than trying to buy off-season styles in brand outlet stores.

At the same time, having a successful product mix means having a lineup that relates to customer expectations yet promises a good profit margin. A direct agreement with the manufacturer increases the profit by boosting the margin, with it being possible, in many cases, to double the profitability when the middle man is removed from the equation. Italy-based Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, one of the world's leading premium product online platforms, also chooses to sign direct agreements with brands. Today's leading online operators have discovered that dealing directly with the manufacturer is the key to the growth of the industry, as, by doing so, the risk of purchasing and selling a knock-off is eliminated and the authenticity of the product is insured, while the room for profit is expanded. Taking the high road in all of one's decisions is the proven model for any serious player in the luxury segment. The Secoo business model is fully aligned with this approach, not only now but also for the long term.


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Source: Secoo
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