Farfetch moves into monobrand e-commerce

UK etailer Farfetch continues to expand its online presence by moving into monobrand e-commerce. The online fashion and beauty retailer has developed a new business area which will run monobrand e-commerce platforms for designers brands such as Manolo Blahnik, who is the first label to work with Farfetch.

The global e-commerce platform, which is set to launch on Wednesday at manoloblahnik.com, will be fully operated by Farfetch's new Black & White service, according to WWD. The monobrand website will offer the designer footwear label's full range of women's and men's shoes, as well as accessories such as books and handbags. The new division of the eight year old etailer is an organic extension of the company's current offering, as Farfetch uses its online expertise to connect independent retailers across the globe with luxury labels.

"We do not look at this in terms of share of the overall business," said Farfetch founder and chief executive officer José Neves to WWD. "We look at it as a holistic answer to the question, 'How will people shop for luxury fashion in five years?' We think it’s going to be multibrand online — hence Farfetch.com and BrownsFashion.com – but also monobrand online — hence Farfetch Black & White. But it will also be in-store and this is why we invested in Browns and we have created a retail business unit for continuous tech innovation."

Farfetch's Black & White service sets the British etailer up against other online retailers, such as Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, with the Italian half of the recently formed group building part of its business through running e-commerce monobrand platforms for designer labels. "The vision was always to build Black & White as a true platform," continued Neves, adding that the monobrand business is a division apart from its main online marketplace.

"Technologically, Farfetch is built with an API [application program interface] layer, which means we can put all the functionalities you see on Farfetch at the service of the best luxury brands and retailers worldwide." Three additional designer brands are set to launch their own monobrand e-commerce platforms through Farfetch's Black & White service by the end of summer, although Neves chose not to reveal their names. Through the new service, potential partners will be able to choose which services they wish to make use of and how they implement it - through an existing e-commerce platform or end to end like Manolo Blahnik.

"Customers shop in monobrand stores as well as multibrand stores. It’s a bit like in the real world. The type of experience is different, but both are complementary."





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