Richemont has announced that luxury e-tailer FARFETCH and Mohamed Alabbar-owned Symphony Global will acquire a 47.5% and 3.2% stake, respectively, in YOOX NET-A-PORTER (“YNAP”), making YNAP a neutral platform with no controlling shareholder. Richemont has chosen FARFETCH as its technology partner to support the implementation of the Luxury New Retail vision of its Maisons and to accelerate the marketplace offering at YNAP.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards the realisation of a dream I first voiced in 2015 of building an independent, neutral online platform for the luxury industry that would be highly attractive to both luxury brands and their discerning clientele. We knew back then that if we wished to control our own destiny and protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry as it was digitalised, we would need to collaborate as the task was too big to undertake on our own,”said Johann Rupert, Chairman of Richemont.
According to a McKinsey and Co report, the online luxury market is expected to more than triple by 2025 . This, coupled with an increasingly demanding clientele for seamless experiences across channels and markets, requires ongoing investment in technology. Collaboration to combine resources and investment firepower to develop a world-class e-commerce platform has become crucially important.
This partnership, with the potential of FARFETCH fully acquiring YNAP, sets a path towards establishing the online luxury retail destination, combining FARFETCH’s distinctive 3P business with YNAP’s 1P curation capabilities, and marks a step change in Richemont Maisons’ omni-channel distribution capabilities. Decoupling online and retail front-end solutions from Richemont’s supply chain and back-end will reduce integration complexity and interdependencies, thus enabling front-end to evolve at a faster pace and accelerate the Luxury New Retail vision of the Maisons
“Our FARFETCH Platform Solutions’ capabilities are perfectly tailored to the Luxury industry, and that has now been recognised by Richemont’s Maisons as well as pioneering luxury e-tailer YNAP, who will all be able to elevate the digital experiences of their global customers, by leveraging FARFETCH Platform Solutions,” said José Neves, FARFETCH Founder, Chairman and CEO. “The launch of Richemont Maison’s e-concessions on the FARFETCH Marketplace is a step change in our strategy for hard luxury, which represents more than 20% of the Luxury industry globally, but just 3% of FARFETCH sales, and is an area where we see much stronger customer demand relative to the supply we have had to date,” he added.
Symphony Global will acquire YNAP’s shares in exchange for its current stake in JV with YNAP in the GCC region. YNAP Group had partnered with Symphony Global in 2016 with Alabbar owning a 40% stake in the venture.
“I am delighted at the opportunity to build further on my long-standing relationship with Richemont and YNAP, and participate, this time, in the realisation of their Luxury New Retail vision. YNAP is one of the most coveted global luxury shopping destinations and the partnership with FARFETCH, by continuing to develop YNAP’s marketplace business, will further enhance the experience for its brand partners and discerning clientele,” said Mohamed Alabbar, Founder and owner of Symphony Global. “I am also confident that our deep understanding of the Middle Eastern luxury market, with its tech-savvy and influential customers, will be of great value to YNAP going forward.”
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