The Taobao store, the only official online retail channel maintained by Adidas in China, "addresses our Chinese consumers' changing lifestyle needs. We will now be able to provide them with an official online shopping channel to purchase authentic and even exclusive products at their own convenience," said Christophe Bezu, the sportswear company's Hong Kong-based CEO, Asia/Pacific.
The store will be operated by Adidas and will carry the full range of Adidas brands and product lines. More than 200 products will be available initially with plans to increase the product selection to 800 in the near future.
Launched in April 2008, Taobao Mall already has stores created for other marketers like Procter & Ganble Co., Uniqlo, Lenovo Group, Dell, Li Ning Co., Kohler and Samsung Group. Retailers have flocked to Taobao because Alibaba has strong brand awareness in China.
The company has also set up sophisticated payment and distribution systems covering China's vast territory, including second- and third-tier cities that are increasingly important for local and international companies.
E-commerce is growing
Customers tend to like it, too, because Taobao maintains rigorous customer satisfaction and consumer protection measures such as a seven-day, no-questions-asked refund policy.
According to data provided by Taobao Datacube, transaction volume of sports-related products on Taobao amounted to more than RMB 800 million ($117.68 million) in 2009. From January through July of this year, transaction volume has already exceeded RMB 700 million ($102.97 million).
China is the world's largest digital-media market, with 420 million internet users, including 130 million online shoppers. Internet sales in China rose 60% in the first half of this year, compared with the first six months of 2009. Transactions hit $331 billion dollars from January to June 2010, according to the China e-Business Research Center.
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