JD.com, China’s largest retailer, has announced the opening of its Paris office, as well as the appointment of Florent Courau as managing director for JD.com in France. Based in Paris, Courau will lead JD.com’s French operations effective immediately.
The opening of an office in France is an important milestone for JD.com, as the e-commerce platform seeks to develop its French brand portfolio and is ramping up its European presence. The Paris office will help JD strengthen its relations with existing and future brand partners, particularly in the fast-growing sectors of luxury, fashion, cosmetics, food, wine and spirits. A French presence will give the company an in-depth understanding of the development ambitions of its French partners, who are looking to access the 266.3 million active Chinese consumers on JD.com.
This launch comes shortly after JD announced an ambitious agreement with Business France, the country’s official trade promotion agency, to sell €2 billion of French goods to Chinese consumers over the next two years. The company also recently announced a partnership with French industrial engineering giant FIVES, to purchase another €100 million in French industrial products. The partnership with Business France includes the implementation of a “one-stop shop” solution for French brands and retailers to get their products to Chinese consumers quickly and conveniently. Florent Courau will oversee the project, which includes a training program about the Chinese e-commerce market, targeting senior executives across France, as well as the establishment of a logistic center in France to facilitate the transport of French products to China and JD’s customers.
Winston Cheng, international president of JD.com, commented: “JD’s push into France demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our relationship with our French partners. With more than 20 years of experience in the luxury, beauty and wine and spirits industries, both in France and China, Florent’s knowledge will make him an invaluable contact point for French brands and retailers who want to access Chinese consumers through our platform.”
Courau said: “JD.com is the preferred destination for upwardly mobile Chinese consumers looking for authentic, quality products. Our customers value the quality of French products, making this a critical market for us to further expand our brand relationships. Our Paris office will be committed to providing tailor-made support to our French partners who want to seize the immense opportunity that JD offers.”
A graduate of ESCP Europe Business School and INSEAD (European Institute of Business Administration), Courau is fluent in French, English and Mandarin. He started his career at Schlumberger, then moved to Deloitte Consulting before joining the LVMH Group where he held various management positions in France and China for 12 years, particularly in the wine and spirits and perfumes and cosmetics departments. In 2009, Courau spent more than two years as COO of Sephora in Shanghai where he was in charge of operations in North Asia, before creating his consulting company to support firms wanting to reach the Chinese market.