British Museum announces landmark partnership with Alibaba Group

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The British Museum and Alibaba Group, the world’s largest retail commerce company in terms of gross merchandise volume, have today announced a landmark partnership.

Alifish, Alibaba’s online licensing platform has been named as the British Museum’s e-retailing and merchandise licensing partner in China. The partnership will see a range of British Museum licensed products made available to consumers in China in a British Museum-branded online store on Alibaba’s popular online marketplace Tmall.com. Additionally, Alifish will provide e-retailing and data mining support to British Museum so their licensed product mix can be perfectly tailored for the Chinese market. The deal will also see a range of physical retail outlets launched by Alfilo Brands – a licensee partner of British Museum in China.

With a collection that tells the stories of cultures across the world, from the dawn of human history to the present, the British Museum attracts millions of visitors every year. It is particularly popular among Chinese visitors to London, many of whom visit the British Museum as part of their trip.

Craig Bendle, manager of merchandiselicensing, British Museum, says: “It is an exciting prospect for the British Museum to be working with a company of Alibaba’s stature as part of the Museum’s product licensing campaign. The British Museum is a museum of the world, for the world and this programme provides a unique opportunity to share the Museum through both online and physical store activities. We are very excited to be showcasing details from the British Museum’s collection exclusively in China on the Alifish licensing platform and to see the establishment of a range of British Museum stores across China, filled with attractive, quality products inspired by objects from the Museum’s collection.”

Hong Ying, general manager of Alifish, Alibaba Group’s Licensing and Entertainment Business Unit, commented: “Alibaba are proud to be a partner of the British Museum with an online platform to directly engage new audiences and bring history cared for by the British Museum to the homes of the Chinese consumer. We will leverage our sophisticated data insights to connect manufacturers with the British Museum’s IP portfolio to develop authorised, branded products. The British Museum is the most visited attraction in the UK and our collaboration with the Museum allows hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers to experience and enjoy some of the most important milestones in human history.”

Alfilo Brands’ CEO, Yizan He, outlined his excitement at the deal. “In additional to British Museum online retail store developed with British Museum and Alibaba Group, Alfilo will also roll out brick and mortar stores in China, creating a perfect synergy between online and offline retailing for the British Museum in China.”