JD.com Expands Wine Offerings as China’s Thirst for Imported Wines Surges
China’s largest online retailer, JD.com, will deepen its partnership with Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), a leading global listed wine company and the country’s largest imported wine business, to deliver a wider range of products from around the globe to Chinese consumers.
TWE has launched a new flagship store on JD.com, which further expands the brands and products it offers to the site’s 236 million users. The extended portfolio includes iconic Australian and American wines such as Wolf Blass, Rawson’s Retreat, Etude, Beringer Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard, Stags’ Leap Winery, Wynns and Lindeman’s. TWE began a direct sales partnership with JD.com in 2015 and has since sold more than 700,000 bottles of wine as of the end of 2016. In recognition of the strongly positive consumer response to the partnership, TWE was presented with the “Best Strategic Partner” award from JD.com earlier this year at the Chengdu Wine Fair.
With China on track to become the second-biggest importer of wine by 2020, and Chinese consumers increasingly shopping online, JD.com has emerged as an important channel for people to discover new brands from a trustworthy source. Annual sales on JD.com grew to more than 30 million bottles in 2016.
“JD.com is a critical e-commerce partner for TWE in the China market,” said Jack Wu, General Manager of TWE China. “JD.com is known to consumers for selling authentic wines, which provides strong opportunities for TWE to reach a huge number of consumers online. We have high aspirations for the newly launched flagship store and our expanded partnership with JD.com.”
The additional variety will be welcomed by Chinese consumers, who are not only buying more wine, but showing increasing interest in more expensive imported wines including those from Australia, Chile and the U.S. While the number of bottles of wine sold grew 19% on JD.com in 2016 from a year earlier, the value of wine sales grew 62%, underscoring the shift toward more premium brands.
Last year, China overtook the U.S. as the biggest wine export market for Chilean wineries in terms of value, with $195 million of wine sold to China last year. At the same time, China surpassed the U.S. as the biggest export market for Australia, and became the second-biggest market for France after the U.S.
Domestic wines continue to be in high demand as well. In addition to the TWE flagship store, JD.com will also partner with COFCO, China’s biggest wine producer, with an aim to reach RMB 1 billion in sales in three years. As part of the partnership, COFCO will create custom Great Wall wines exclusive to JD.com.
With the new additions, JD.com has doubled the number of wineries listed on its platform to 3,000 from 1,500 last year, including wines directly sold by JD.com, as well as those offered by third-party sellers on its marketplace.
Fun facts about JD.com wine sales: