Mega luxury website moves step closer as Richemont invites LVMH, Kering to co-invest in combined Yoox/Net-a-Porter

The prospect of a global luxury e-commerce platform that can compete with the world’s largest online retailers has moved a step closer. How so?

Johann Rupert, executive chairman of luxury goods group Richemont, said on Monday he had invited rivals LVMH and Kering to invest in the newly combined Yoox/Net-a-Porter online fashion retailer.

His move comes as development speeds up in the luxury e-tail sector with Condé Nast recently announcing Style.com would be converted into a giant higher-end e-tail site.

Back to Rupert: “I was speaking to (LVMH CEO Bernard) Arnault, I was speaking to Kering… We need a platform that is big enough for the luxury goods industry,” he told the FT Business of Luxury Summit in Monaco.

“This e-commerce game is too big for one company to handle. I want to establish one platform that’s open to everyone; one that’s big enough for the luxury goods industry,” he said.

Earlier this year, Richemont agreed to sell Net-a-Porter to Italy’s Yoox in an all-share deal that created an industry leader in the booming online luxury market, with combined sales of €1.3bn ($1.4bn).

When the deal was announced earlier this year, Yoox and Richemont both said they would be looking for another luxury goods investor to join them.

Arnault, meanwhile, has just invested in luxury online retailer Lyst, which raised $40m from investors including Facebook investors Accel Partners as well as Balderton Capital, which put money in Yoox/NAP.

Lyst chief executive and founder Chris Morton told Reuters on during the Monaco conference that he believed “more has happened in the online fashion world in the past five months than in the past five years.”

“2015 is really the seminal year of the online fashion retail industry,” Morton added.

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