FARFETCH, the world’s largest e-commerce company for luxury clothing, will buy 47.5 per cent of the shares of its biggest rival, the Italian YOOX NET-A-PORTER.
For the time being, most of Yoox Net-a-Porter will remain in the hands of the Swiss luxury goods group Richemont – which owns brands such as Cartier and Montblanc, among others. However, the agreement includes an option whereby Farfetch could buy the rest of YOOX Net-a-Porter (YNAP) shares.
The e-commerce market for luxury clothing is not as developed as the rest of the online retail but has overgrown during the pandemic. In the last 10-15 years, Farfetch and Yoox Net-a-Porter emerged as the two leading companies in the sector. After the pandemic, the former established itself as the leader. Farfetch recently expanded into the Chinese market, receiving investment from Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company.
According to some analysts, the acquisition of Yoox by Farfetch should not necessarily be seen as e a defeat. Richemont’s aim could be a merger between Farfetch & Yoox to face the competition from Amazon, which has been trying to enter the luxury sector for some time.
Farfetch is a British-Portuguese online luxury fashion retail platform that sells products from over 700 boutiques and brands worldwide. The company was founded in 2007 by the Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves with its headquarters in London and main branches in Lisbon and Porto (Portugal).
YOOX Net-a-Porter Group S.p.A. is an Italian online fashion retailer created on 5 October 2015 after the merger between Yoox Group and Net-a-porter Group (NAP).
Federico Marchetti founded Yoox in Milan in 2000, and Natalie Massenet founded Net-a-Porter in London in 2000. Beginning in 2003, Richemont invested in NAP. In 2015, Yoox purchased NAP shares from Richemont and merged with Net-a-Porter to establish the Yoox-Net-a-Porter Group. In May 2018, Richemont acquired the YNAP Group by purchasing 95% of the company’s available shares. The combined company has become a global e-commerce player that serves more than 180 countries.
José Neves, Farfetch founder, chairman and CEO, said his company was “excited to acquire 47.5 per cent of YNAP and partner with Richemont in YNAP’s transformation into a hybrid business model which we believe will drive strong growth and profitability for YNAP.”