Deckers’ UGG Footwear Steps Into E-Commerce in China

UGG Australia will be making its e-commerce debut in China with the opening of a TMall (Taobao’s B2C Mall) and the launch of a China site in coming weeks.

Deckers Outdoors Corporation, a California-based footwear manufacturer that owns the Australian brand, has hired Vincent Lau in a newly created role as e-commerce director for Asia Pacific.

Lau’s appointment underscores Decker’s ambition to capture China’s booming e-commerce opportunity as the country is poised to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest online retail market this year with Chinese consumers spending $265 billion online.

Deckers told ClickZ there were two main reasons for its e-commerce expansion into China.

First, it wanted to give consumers an online destination to buy genuine UGG Australia product, particularly those in cities where it doesn’t have brick-and-mortar stores. Second, Deckers wanted to provide a digital environment to engage consumers with the full UGG Australia experience to showcase new categories such as its Spring line, men’s products and non-footwear.

Lau, the former director of e-commerce Sa Sa cosmetics retailer group, is tasked to build the online businesses for Deckers, which also owns other niche brands such as Teva, Sanuk, Tsubo, Ahnu, and MOZO.

“He will be instrumental in driving and executing our Asia Pacific e-commerce strategy across platforms to deliver a consumer experience that is both robust and seamless,” said Pete Worley, president of Deckers Asia Pacific, in a statement.

Lau’s first project will involve opening the UGG Australia official flagship store on TMall in April and a dedicated China site – uggaustralia.cn in May.

The e-commerce initiative will complement UGG’s brick-and-mortar retail business, which currently has 20 stores in China with plans to open 15 more in 2013.

UGG Australia, well known for its fashionable sheepskin boots, will open its first flagship store in the bustling shopping hub of Causeway Bay, Hong Kong on April 8.

Lau (pictured above) joins Deckers from Sa Sa, a leading cosmetics retailer group, where he was responsible for the digital and e-commerce business. Before that, he worked in marketing roles at Turner Broadcasting and eBay.