FARFETCH are to acquire a 47.5% in YOOX NET-A-PORTER (“YNAP”), making YNAP a neutral platform, in what they call a landmark transaction towards the digitalisation of the luxury industry.
The potential second and final stage of the transaction provides for FARFETCH to increase its ownership of YNAP’s share capital to 100%. In the mean time, YNAP will be governed via a structure commensurate with its new ownership: its Board of seven Directors will be comprised of three representatives of each of Richemont and FARFETCH and one representative of Alabbar.
YNAP’s Online Flagship Store business not a part of the transaction and parent company Richemont will retain the risk and reward for this division.
As part of the deal YNAP will adopt FARFETCH’s technology platform to advance their Luxury New Retail programme. Most Richemont Maisons will adopt FARFETCH Platform Solutions for their ecommerce operations and connect their physical boutiques globally, for a seamless omnichannel client experience. These include A. Lange & Söhne, Alaïa, Baume & Mercier, Buccellati, Cartier, Chloé, Delvaux, dunhill, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Piaget, Purdey, Roger Dubuis, Serapian, Vacheron Constantin and Van Cleef & Arpels.
This means that brands currently sold by YNAP will switch to the FARFETCH platform, and the technology will significantly advance the roll-out of YNAP’s marketplace offering, as FARFETCH’s platform is already connected with the inventory of many of YNAP’s luxury brand partners.
It will also enable YNAP’s shift towards a hybrid business model which will be more asset-light, complementing YNAP’s first-party curated inventory ownership with a third-party marketplace offer. This shift is expected to improve YNAP’s financial performance while customers, in turn, will enjoy an enriched shopping experience.
The real significance of this announcement is that it emphasises how the FARFETCH platform is well-positioned to deliver end-to-end capabilities for the luxury industry, and envisions that further collaboration on innovative technology solutions will be made available to luxury brands and retailers to meet the increasing omnichannel demands of the luxury customer.
Symphony Global, one of the investment vehicles of Mohamed Alabbar, will also take a 3.2% stake in YNAP. As a result of FARFETCH and Alabbar’s initial acquisition of shares in YNAP, YNAP will become a neutral distribution platform, not controlled by any one shareholder.
FARFETCH and Richemont advanced significantly our Luxury New Retail vision for the digitization of Luxury. This significant partnership unequivocally establishes FARFETCH as a pre-eminent global platform for luxury.
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.
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.
– José Neves, Founder, Chairman and CEO, FARFETCH