The strategic investment will help Alibaba better serve China’s fast-growing consumer market for high-dollar luxury goods. 1stdibs CEO David Rosenblatt notes one-third of his company’s business is outside the US.
Alibaba owns and operates C2C marketplace Taobao, the most popular e-commerce site in China, as well as Tmall, a B2C site for brand-name retailers.
Studies show that by 2015, China will account for over 20 percent of the world’s demand for luxury goods. While the market is still growing, however, Bain & Company reports growth is tapering off. Furthermore, Chinese shoppers do two-thirds of their luxury shopping abroad, “triggering slowdowns in store traffic and store openings domestically.” If this trend continues, Alibaba might have just put its money into a shrinking market gap.