May 18, 2024

Luxury online retailer Farfetch, where product prices start at around a thousand dollars, had a breakout IPO on Thursday, raising $885 million while setting a valuation of $6.2 billion for the company. Then on Friday the stock surged 53 percent above their initial offering price and it’s up again this morning valuing the enterprise at $7.4 billion.

Farfetch plans to use their IPO windfall to dramatically improve their technology which they see as the best way to improve the consumer experience.

Farfetch Founder and CEO José Manuel Ferreira Neves recently discussed Farfetch and the online luxury brand industry on Bloomberg:

Online Luxury is Growing 25 Percent a Year

It’s a very unique opportunity. You have this amazing global industry. It’s $300 billion, the personal luxury goods industry and only 9 percent is online. There are two opportunities here really. One is the growth of online luxury which is going to grow to 25 percent a year for the next seven years. This is a $100 billion opportunity shift in online luxury.

The big question is how is technology going to help brands and retailers really improve the consumer experience in the physical store. This is something at Farfetch that we are very passionate about.

China is an Incredible Opportunity for Online Luxury

China is a very exciting opportunity. Chinese citizens are at the onset of the luxury industry, whether they shop at home or when they’re shopping abroad. Online penetration is very low in China so this means that there is an incredible growth runway for Farfetch in the territory.

That led to our partnership with JD.com where we have our own team. We have the Farfetch China app and website, we have local customer service, local payment systems, and local marketing. It’s a truly localized service. That is what’s driving incredible growth to the Farfetch brand in that region.

WeChat is an amazing app with over 900 million users. It is the Instagram, plus WeChat, plus PayPal, etc. of China in one app. That is very powerful and very interesting. Now with our acquisition CuriosityChina we are powering the retail presence of 80 luxury brands. We think that is very interesting for the industry and we think that is probably something that we will see for the western world.

Brands Now Using Social and Digital Marketing Extensively

I think brands move cautiously and they choose their marketing channels very carefully. As these newer channels have developed the brands have adapted to them and their now using social media and digital media extensively to create desire, to drive discovery of new products obviously transactions as well.

It’s a gradual pace but it’s really exciting that were at that inflection point where the brands see this as a tremendous opportunity.