* Fashion brands to become available to China web users
* Emporio Armani opened on Nov. 26, other brands in 2011
* Shares up 2.17 pct, outperform market
MILAN, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Italian online fashion retailer Yoox YOOX.MI is planning to bring some of the most exclusive fashion brands to China next year, tapping into the demand for luxury goods of the world's largest online population.
Yoox, which powers sites for 23 fashion groups such as Valentino and Dolce&Gabbana alongside its own multibrand website, said on Wednesday it will open several online stores in China in the first half of 2011, offering full-price, high-range products to a sophisticated clientele.
Emporio Armani, also powered by Yoox, became the first western fashion brand to debut on the online China market on Nov. 26.
All the online stores will be in Chinese, and purchases could be also made in yuan, Yoox said.
The company, which manages web sites for brands such as Marni, Roberto Cavalli, Zegnaa Ferretti and Pucci, posted third-quarter net sales of 54.2 million euros, 41 percent higher than a year before.
China, now the world’s No.2 luxury goods market with sales in 2009 of $9.4 billion, is expected to become the first top luxury market in the next five years. [ID:nSGE6800GU]
Yoox said it has set up a Chinese subsidiary based in Shanghai and will launch its multibrand store Thecorner.com in the second half of 2011.
Yoox shares were up 2.17 percent at 7.30 euros at 1249 GMT, outperforming the Milan market index .FTITLMS which was up 1.46 percent. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)
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