H&M Group spin-off COS is set to open a store on China’s Tmall “next month”, according to sources in China, which also reveals that the Tmall store is likely to be the brand’s only ecomm channel in China aside from its COS.com site.
The COS site joins sister retailers H&M and Monki on Tmall.
The COS Tmall site will offer a selection of items from the brand’s womenswear, menswear and kids clothes and is part of a move to expand COS across China. The retailer plans to open stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen and Guangzhou between now and Christmas, bringing the total number of stores in the country to 28.
“We are thrilled to bring our collections to a broader audience across the market to complement our physical stores and look forward to this new chapter ahead.”
– Marie Honda, managing director of COS
To celebrate the launch, COS will bring the hit installation “New Spring” to a historic building in Shanghai, giving Chinese consumers the chance to take part in a multi-sensory installation from 20 to 28 October. Created in collaboration with London-based design duo Studio Swine, the tree-like structure that blossoms with mist-filled, scented bubbles was specially commissioned for last year’s Salone de Mobile, one of the world’s biggest furniture and design fairs, held annually in Milan.
Alongside this, COS will feature a curated selection of its clothes, available for purchase on Tmall and in select physical storefronts across China.
“The COS brand is a fantastic addition to Tmall’s strong portfolio of fashion brands”
– Jessica Liu, president of Tmall Fashion and Luxury
COS joins leading Spanish fashion brands Zara and Uterqüe on Tmall as European apparel retailers increasingly see the marketplace as the way to tap into the huge Chinese market.
US brand Abercrombie & Fitch also celebrates its first anniversary of using the site in grand style.
However, while there are obvious advantages to using the site to expand sales in China and augment sales through stores in the country, the putative trade war sparked this week between the US and China is increasingly becoming the elephant in the room.
While there market is huge and the use of Tmall et al helps to service that market, the potential for retaliatory tariffs on US and perhaps also European goods could shake things up. However, for now, selling fashion through Chinese marketplaces is certainly the retail trend du jour.