According to Chan Zhang, head of digital from SmithStreet, Coach's Tmall store was never meant to last. Instead it was leveraged as a tool to evaluate Coach's consumer readiness and interest. Coach used this information to determine if it was the correct time to open their own ecommerce in China. After seeing the results from the Tmall store Coach went ahead and launched ecommerce through their official website, indicating that rather than a failure, Tmall was not aligned with Coach's needs / positioning at the time. In addition, Coach's global strategy was to start with official ecommerce and branch out to third party platforms overtime.
On September 4th, 2015 Coach reopened their Tmall store, and again, many speculated as to why they did this, considering they have their own official website. Some believed it was to reach consumers in lower tier cities, others beleived it was due to huge volumes of traffic Tmall could offer.
While this is true it is only half the story. At the same time as their Tmall launch, Coach announced to the media that Taobao was an important strategic partner on anti-counterfeit activities. Essentially Coach agreed to open a Tmall store for both the traffic generated and to have a vested interest from Tmall / Taobao in combating counterfeit goods.
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