LVMH prepares for launch of multi-brand virtual department store
LVMH is working on an ambitious e-commerce project, a type of French Net-a-Porter, a source closely involved with the initiative has told Fashion Network. The project scope is currently being mapped out.
LVMH certainly has the portfolio to embark on a project of this scale, owning 16 fashion and leathergoods houses, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Celine; seven watches and jewellery labels; and nine perfume brands. The giant French luxury group had a record year 2016, posting €37.6 billion in sales (up 5% compared to 2015).
This luxury virtual department store will reportedly go into a test phase sometime in April or May before an official public launch in June, according to our source. When contacted by Fashion Network about the project, LVMH said "no comment".
This platform will host both the group’s many brands as well as other designer and affordable luxury labels. LVMH already owns Bon Marché and the DFS duty free retail chain, which should give it enough synergy to involve other brands with which it already has a relationship.
In September 2015, LVMH poached Ian Rogers from Apple, naming him Chief Digital Officer, an indication of digital’s growing importance in world of luxury.
Luxury groups were initially wary about the Internet but have been revising their strategies for several years now, with varying degrees of success. Italian luxury label Tod's also announced a plan to create a multi-brand e-shop, but was not able to bring the project to fruition.
For its part, Kering created a joint venture with Italian fashion platform Yoox in 2012 to manage the e-commerce sites of its brands. In 2015, Yoox, which also operates LVMH brand Emilio Pucci's online store, merged with Net-a-Porter, a subsidiary of the Richemont Group, giving birth to an e-commerce giant.
More and more brands are now signing up with this luxury e-commerce platform, which gives them much greater exposure.
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