Seafolly Takes on Lucrative Chinese E-Commerce Market

April Davis By April Davis | 29 Jun 2018

Seafolly is reportedly taking its home-grown Aussie swimwear brand directly to Chinese consumers, as it looks to set up a direct shop on Alibaba Tmall.

According to Seafolly, China is Asia’s most lucrative market, experiencing market growth of 9.6 percent since 2013. The swimwear label’s Chief Executive, Paul Kotrba told the AFR that China is Seafolly’s ideal market for increasing its presence across Asia.

“In China [the swimwear market] is forecast to grow close to 10 percent each year through 2022, thus opening an opportunity for Seafolly to be the first premium fashion swimwear brand in the market,” he said.

Seafolly will join the ranks of an estimated 70,000 brands and retailers that operate via Tmall, opening the Australian business up to Alibaba’s network of 40 million unique visitors per day. Of these brands, about 2,000 are Australian, and Maggie Zhou, the managing director of Alibaba group in Australia and New Zealand is reportedly looking forward to seeing how the swimwear category performs after Seafolly’s launch.

The iconic swimwear brand has made big steps over the past few years in the international market, having branched into Asia back in 2014 when the company was purchased by private equity firm, L Catterton Asia.

The appointment of Kotrba as Seafolly’s new CEO back in January also gave the brand’s international focus a fresh push, as his vision for the business is to turn “Seafolly into the world’s number one iconic swimwear and beach lifestyle brand”.

As part of this vision, Seafolly launched a new global e-commerce store in April, to support its existing expansion in the European, North American and Asian markets.

“In launching our new site, we needed to ensure that the platform could address our core goals of a rich and engaging experience no matter where and how our customers shopped, enabling international expansion in the process,”Kotrba said in April.

Seafolly’s direct store on Tmall Global is expected to launch next month, alongside a series of marketing campaigns to assist the brand’s transition into the new market.

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