The fashion industry has witnessed first-hand the phenomenal success of leading women’s designer website, Net a porter, founded by former fashion journalist, Nathalie Massenet, and the backbite it overcame to mark its 10th anniversary last year, and her final stake sell out to the luxury group, Richemont, for £50m, which now values the company at £350m. ‘This is a brilliant step,’ commented an industry analyst and former LVMH group aide, ‘luxury brands have yet to formally appreciate the importance of e-commerce.’
But with Net a porter shipping to 170 countries, sales of £120m last year and a 2.5m viewing figure per month, others are quickly looking to cash in on this ‘transformative’ start up. Both Amazon and Ebay will be undergoing an overhaul looking to tap into the market. Amazon acquired for $888m, adding over 1000 shoe and apparel brands to the site and Ebay, popular in the US, has recently been unveiling exclusive collections – Norma Kamali, Narciso Rodriguez and imminently, Derek Lam – to attract viewers.
But significantly what has also come out of the Net a porter formula – ecommerce alongside web content and a glossy magazine mail out to customers - is a new journalism move. Now other retailers are following suit, using journalists to create branded magazines, customer brochures, videos, ezines, tips and guides.