Last year in November, Alibaba, Richemont and Farfetch announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the digitisation of the global luxury industry and to give luxury brands better access into the China market. As per the deal, Alibaba and Richemont are to invest $300 million each in the luxury e-commerce platform Farfetch. The two brands will also invest an added $250 million each to secure a joint 25 per cent stake in the new venture of Farfetch’s operations in China.
In a new development yesterday, Farfetch launched its flagship e-store on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavillion, an invite-only service, which has designer brands, Burberry, Valentino and Bottega Veneta. Per Business of Fashion, Farfetch will now have access to Alibaba’s 779 million consumers.
This means that the Chinese buyers will be able to browse through Farfetch’s huge catalogue of over 3,500 luxury brands, which did not have a presence in the East-Asian region before.
Headquartered in London, Farfetch launched in 2008 as an online marketplace for luxury brands around the world. Today, it retails to around 190 countries and houses a wide range of 1400 premium brands, including Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Off-White, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton. Farfetch.com sells apparel, jewellery, handbags, footwear for women, men and kids.
On its homepage, it has a separate section of pre-owned luxury items, which promotes the re-use and re-sale of luxury and vintage items. As per Vogue Business, Farfetch is planning to launch a beauty category by 2022 with options of virtual try-on features. It currently offers AR-led try-on feature for watches, sneakers and eyewear.
The luxury e-retailer last week also released its Q4 report and full-year results for 2020. The company’s revenue saw a 64 per cent increase and hit a high of $1.7 billion last year because of the surge in online shopping throughout last year when offline store operations suffered a setback due to Covid. Its gross merchandise value too grew 69 per cent and exceeded the $3 billion mark.
According to reports, Credit Suisse’s analyst Stephen Ju predicted that Farfetch’s active buyers may hit at least 30 million in the next five years, owing to its entry in the Chinese market and robust plans to expand its online footprint.