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Richemont and Farfetch in talks to offload YNAP

By Don-Alvin Adegeest



Image: YNAP

Richemont is thought to be exploring several options to offload the loss-making Yoox Net-a-Porter, the luxury pure player, reports cited this week.

The Swiss group, which owns maisons including Cartier, Chloé, Alaia and Delvaux, is finding itself in somewhat of a technology depression, as companies like FarFetch and Alibaba are accelerating the digitisation of the luxury industry. Richemont recently partnered with Farfetch to create the Farfetch China Joint Venture and invested in Farfetch Limited, yet the group’s YNAP businesses have “lost the technology race” according to online fashion news platform Miss Tweed.

Farfetch’s profits have surpassed most digital fashion companies, based on a sales model that does not hold inventory but charges a percentage of sales from the boutiques on platform. According to Miss Tweed Farfetch CEO José Neves has no interest to invest in YNAP, who famously appointed Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet to Farfetch’s board in 2017, before stepping down last year.

Leading the digital luxury space

YNAP, once a leader in omni channel services and online sales logistics is losing market share to Farfetch, whose back-end technology service Farfetch Platform Solutions (FPS) offers advanced technology aligned with global logistics, multiple payment systems and a digital concessions model. The London and Porto-based company is aggressively targeting brands and retailers for an even bigger slice of fashion’s online luxury pie.

As for its options, if Farfetch is unwilling to invest in YNAP, Richemont may consider an outright sale or raise the funds needed for investment, which is likely to soar to several hundred million euros.