Key Takeaways:
  • The Tmall flagship store model gives companies control over their marketing efforts, supply chain, and sales growth. This control is sacrificed when multiple distributers and multiple specialty stores are involved.
  • Luxury brands benefit from the flagship store model, as it allows them to focus on and maintain brand integrity through one sales channel.
  • Estee Lauder leads its China e-commerce efforts through a propriety flagship store whereas Lancome, Chanel, and Shiseido rely on multi-brand platforms and do not connect directly with the consumer.
Luxury brands are increasingly using China’s largest B2C e-commerce platform,, to build sales and expand market share in China. This spring, Burberry launched their own Tmall flagship store, and Estee Lauder followed suit less than a month later.
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Other luxury brands, such as Lancome, Chanel, and Shiseido are also present on Tmall but instead through a variety of specialty stores that are likely operated by distributers. Based on sales from the past thirty days, Estee Lauder looks to be in the lead with over $9 million in annual sales. By operating a dedicated flagship store, Estee Lauder has the flexibility to manage their own promotions, refresh their site with new product lines as they see fit, and closely monitor sales. luxurycosmetics copy