Look­ing be­yond bricks and mor­tar

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

As Far­fetch moves into fine watches, Ti­mothy Bar­ber charts the e-com­merce rev­o­lu­tion

The adop­tion of on­line sell­ing by high-value watch brands has seemed, at times, an al­most painfully ten­ta­tive process. How­ever this spring has seen sig­nif­i­cant strides for­ward, with the launch of fine watches and jew­ellery hubs on the e-com­merce web­site Far­fetch, the com­ple­tion of Richemont Group’s takeover of Yoox Net-a-Porter ( YNAP) and, just a week ago, Richemont’s sur­prise ac­qui­si­tion of the UK-based se­condary mar­ket seller, Watchfinder.

Promis­ing a “fresh and play­ful” ap­proach geared to a young au­di­ence, Far­fetch has launched its of­fer­ing with a se­lect num­ber of watch brands in­clud­ing TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Gi­rard-Per­re­gaux (pic­tured be­low right). Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to Tele­graph Time, Far­fetch’s chief commercial and sus­tain­abil­ity of­fi­cer, Gior­gio Bel­loli, de­scribed the as­sort­ment as “very, very cu­rated”, with a mix of well-known and more niche play­ers. “We’ve al­ways been fo­cused on dis­cov­ery, not just megabrands,” he said.

Mean­while, the es­tab­lished player in the field and Far­fetch’s chief ri­val, Yoox Net-a-Porter ( YNAP), has been ramp­ing up its ac­tiv­i­ties sig­nif­i­cantly.

Pre­vi­ously YNAP’s largest share­holder, Richemont com­pleted its whole­sale takeover of the com­pany the same week Far­fetch launched its hubs last month.

YNAP’s women’s and men’s plat­forms, Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, have al­ready es­tab­lished a strong pres­ence in the hard-lux­ury arena, with sev­eral of the houses owned by Richemont – Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoul­tre and Pi­aget among them – fea­tur­ing. In April Net-a-Porter launched a new “Fine Jewelry & Watch Suite”, fo­cussing on the high­end. Mr Porter, mean­while, has re­cently signed up Bre­itling, a pow­er­house in­de­pen­dent, and has this week launched an

‘We’ve al­ways been fo­cused on dis­cov­ery, not just megabrands’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.