Farfetch, the largest e-commerce company for luxury apparel in the world, will buy 47.5 percent of the shares of Yoox Net-a-Porter, its main rival. For the moment, the majority of Yoox Net-a-Porter will remain owned by the Swiss group Richemont, active in the luxury goods sector and owner, among others, of brands such as Cartier and Montblanc: the agreement, however, provides for an option with which Farfetch it will also be able to purchase the rest of the shares of Yoox Net-a-Porter in the future. At the same time, Richemont said it also sold a smaller stake in Yoox Net-a-Poter, 3.2 percent, to a United Arab Emirates investment firm, Symphony Global.
The luxury apparel e-commerce market isn’t as developed as the rest of the online shopping industry, but it is grew rapidly during the pandemic. In the decade between 2010 and 2020 Farfetch and Yoox Net-a-Porter had emerged as the two main companies in the sector, but also thanks to a series of winning choices during the pandemic, the former had definitively established itself as the industry leader. In 2020 Farfetch had managed to expand into the Chinese market, raising investments from Alibaba, the largest Chinese e-commerce company, and even from Richemont, the owner of Yoox Net-a-Porter.
Already at the time, some analysts had pointed out that that decision was not necessarily to be taken as a defeat for Yoox Net-a-Poter, and that Richemont’s goal could be to achieve a merger of the two groups to counter the competition. of Amazon, which has long been trying to break into the luxury sector.
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