Aline Conus – “Trust has been a challenge”

Aline Conus – “Trust has been a challenge”

One foreigner who has won over the Chinese online shopper is French-born Aline Conus. She set up Yangjiu.com (the word means ‘Western alcohol’ in Chinese) in 2007 after realising that there was an untapped market for selling high-grade imported wines and spirits to China’s nouveaux riches over the internet. She launched it as a one-woman show and has nurtured it into one of the top online foreign wine e-tailers in China, with a staff of 15. Last year, Conus says, the company made a profit of around $2m.  Here she talks to CNBC Business about modesty, mistakes and millionaires.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS ?

We have three main groups. Firstly, the white collars, the younger generation of Chinese who have just started working and doing well for themselves. They want to try new things, new brands and imported products. They are very curious and they need a lot of information. The second group is the VIP client. These are successful entrepreneurs. They really want the best. They find it really cool to buy online, and they can afford to buy everything. The last group is made up of corporate clients who buy our products as a gift.

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Aline Conus Photoshoot

Aline-ConusAline Conus (b. 1978) is a French entrepreneur and marketing expert, specialising in luxury goods, e-commerce and the Chinese market.

Early life:
Conus was born in the Jura region of France, the youngest daughter of a renowned patissier.
She was educated at Institut d’Etudes Politiques, BORDEAUX, Columbia University and the London School of Economics.

Career:
After working as Director of Marketing for Torres China, in 2008 Conus launchedyangjiu.com China’s first online luxury goods store, selling premium wines and spirits and establishing more than 200 distribution partnerships with leading European brands. Her business grew rapidly with the Chinese market highly receptive to her products.  ‘Gifts from Europe are always very heavily valued,’ she told the BBC in 2009.

Following her return to Europe, she founded E-Notam Ltd, a London-based boutique online marketing agency which has won major accounts from the luxury industry.

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Shanghai Fashion Week Returns – Aline Conus

Shanghai Fashion Week Returns – Aline Conus

The Financial Crisis, Fashion and a Little Glamour

By Aline Conus

Aline-Conus-SpingSummer-Shanghai-Fashion-Week-2011-630x280

In a season tainted by a slower growth in China and a financial crisis in the west, where does the austerity of the times lead us fashion-wise? Well, for my inaugural column in TALK this month, I selected the outfit pictured below since it embodies the main trends of the season: austerity and purity.

Discreet beige top, sleek lines, pure cut – is it Calvin Klein? Celine? Yves Saint Laurent? Max Mara? Joseph? Nicole Farhi? Bally? Maje? Looking for the brand behind this pretty blouse, I screened a few hundred fashion ads and fashion websites desperately trying to find THE one.

Oh… I forgot to mention this is my hobby. I take pictures of women in Shanghai and then select the best looks and identify the items they are wearing. It gives me a truly unique perspective on fashion in Shanghai and a special insight into the soul and heart of Shanghainese women. The pastime has nurtured my love of fashion in Shanghai very dearly over the years.

Coming back to the beige top, it is so much at the heart of the autumn/winter collections that it could be from any of these labels really. Purity and plain beige clothes seem to be the translation of the more austere world economy.

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