Alibaba Launches US Retail Site '11 Main'
(dpa-AFX International Compact Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HONG KONG (dpa-AFX) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Wednesday officially unveiled 11 Main, an invitation-only online retail site, as the company plans to get more familiar with the US market ahead of its planned IPO.
11 Main, in a statement on the site, said it brings together specialty shops and boutiques that will offer products in a variety of categories including fashion and style, home and outdoor, and jewelry and watches, which are one-of-a-kind items and are not available at mass merchants and other large e-commerce sites.
The website currently displays a " We're Opening Soon" message, and adds "Our shop owners are currently unpacking and getting settled." The beta-stage website also tells customers to request for an invitation if they are interested to shop early. The company said the new website is inspired by the local "Main Street" shopping experience.
"At 11 Main, we're passionate about the shops we invite and helping them grow," said Mike Effle, president and general manager of 11 Main.
Alibaba Group last month filed for an IPO, which is set be one of the biggest ever debut. Analysts have valued Alibaba at more than $160 billion. Alibaba, which accounts for about 80 percent of all Chinese e-commerce, was co-founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma.
Alibaba operates China's largest online shopping destination, Taobao Marketplace, and third-party platform for brands and retailers, Tmall. It also operates Juhuasuan, China's most popular group buying marketplace by its monthly active users.
In the filing, Alibaba said its gross merchandise volume in 2013 was $248 billion on transactions by 231 million active buyers and 8 million active sellers.
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