Mecca Brands Launches Chinese Flagship With Tmall Global – WWD

Australia’s largest specialty beauty retailer Mecca Brands is taking its first steps into the Chinese market via a partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall Global.

Launched Wednesday at an event at The Middle House hotel in Shanghai, the site will initially offer more than 200 stock-keeping units across 22 brands, approximately one third of which are Australian.

Fourteen brands will be new to the Chinese market and excusive to Mecca. They include Australian brands Frank Body, Go-To, Lanolips, The Beauty Chef, Ere Perez, Mecca Brands’ Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Max lines and international lines Dr Dennis Gross Skincare, Cosmetics27, Goldfield & Banks, Sol de Janeiro and Merci Handy.

The Mecca Tmall global flagship will also offer digital and beauty services, in a bid to recreate, as best as possible, Mecca’s customer service experience in Australia and New Zealand.

The company has trained 10 Hangzhou-based beauty advisors to support the store and organized Mecca-branded gift boxes and packaging for Chinese customers. Mecca’s Beauty Loop loyalty program, which boasts 1.9 million members in Australia and New Zealand, will also be extended to Tmall customers, offering product previews and exclusives, gift cards, birthday surprises and event invitations.

Mecca’s China launch offer is a tight edit of the company’s portfolio of more than 170 brands in Australia and New Zealand, with more brands due to be added.

China will be the second international territory for Mecca Brands, which operates 109 brick and mortar stores in Australia and New Zealand, split between its three retail concepts: Mecca, Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima. The website does not currently offer international shipping.

In development for two years, the launch is happening against the backdrop of a Stage 4 lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne, where Mecca Brands is based, the city’s second lockdown in five months, due to a resurgence of COVID-19 in the state of Victoria. The city of Auckland, New Zealand has also re-entered lockdown due to a resurgence of the virus there.

Mecca Brands chief executive officer Jo Horgan joined the Shanghai launch via a livestream from her home in Melbourne, as the Mecca Brands office is currently closed, as are 24 of its Melbourne stores for at least six weeks, as well as eight Auckland stores.

Following national lockdowns in both Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, the company had begun reopening stores in late April with new COVID safety protocols that included mandatory temperature checks for all customers and face shields for retail team members.

Said Horgan, “I started Mecca with the desire to make every customer look and feel their best. From our very first store in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, to now launching in China our second international market, we have stayed true to this philosophy over the last 23 years. I am thrilled that we are assisting Chinese customers, some of the most well-informed beauty shoppers in the world, to unearth incredible new brands and products and know that once they experience the Mecca magic, it will be love at first ‘add to cart’.”

Mecca’s China move follows on the heels of Perth fashion retailer Richard Poulson launching a new English-Mandarin language e-commerce startup called Showroom-X, tailored to Chinese consumers and offering Australian and New Zealand fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.

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