The 315-year-old British retail and hospitality brand Fortnum & Mason is moving into the frontier of modern retail with the opening of its official store on China’s cross-border online marketplace, Tmall Global.
The online shop will debut on June 18, 2022 during China’s 6.18 mid-year shopping festival. Fortnum & Mason is working with ecommerce accelerator Pattern for the launch, part of a larger move to expand its online business to China. This online expansion follows the 2019 opening of the brand’s first fully owned and operated shop and restaurant in Asia, in Hong Kong.
Founded in London in 1707 after Queen Anne gave her footman William Fortnum permission to sell discarded candles from St James’ Palace, Fortnum & Mason has enjoyed a close relationship with the British Royal household ever since — including holding several “royal warrants” (permission to supply goods to members of the royal family) throughout its history for both Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales.
With its shop in Hong Kong and through tourist and other activities, the brand already has strong awareness among Chinese consumers, which it hopes to capitalize on with the opening of its Tmall Global flagship. Pattern will act as Fortnum & Mason’s trade partner in the endeavor, supporting every aspect of running the Tmall store.
The store will feature a curated selection of Fortnum’s most famous products, including teas, biscuits, hot chocolate, wine and spirits, teaware and wicker hampers. Additionally, Fortnum & Mason will work with Pattern to complement its range with product and brand content to further build awareness and engagement with Chinese consumers, including plans for livestreaming on Tmall’s Taobao Live platform.
Pattern is an established Tmall trade partner and works closely with a number of Western brands in China to accelerate their online sales. Pattern buys stock from the brands it works with and then supports every aspect of trading on their Tmall store.
“For centuries, Fortnum’s has thrived on delivering a sense of pleasure for our customers and we are delighted to share that with a new audience in China,” said Carmen Chiu, Regional Managing Director of Asia Pacific at Fortnum & Mason in a statement. “We are excited and proud to establish our brand and bring a piece of Piccadilly to our Chinese customers before they visit us in London and Hong Kong. We are also very excited about the journey ahead which will provide us a great deal of learning of the Chinese market as an international brand.”