It has now been confirmed that YooX, an Italian internet mail order retailer of men’s and women’s multibrand clothing and accessories, is in talks to buy the luxury online retailer.
Swiss luxury group Richemont, and Net-A-Porter’s parent company which will hold on to 50% of the shares, also confirmed the talks with Yoox.
A Yoox spokesperson said: “With reference to what has appeared in the press, Yoox S.p.A. clarifies that discussions are currently underway with Compagnie Financière Richemont SA regarding a potential business combination between YOOX and the Net-A-Porter Group Ltd. The Company will update the market as appropriate in due course and cannot comment further at this stage.”
Yoox, which has some very strong ties to luxury brands already, with it running its own suite of shopping sites, in addition to powering the e-commerce destinations of luxury brands like Marni, Valentino and Moschino. So this fit with Net-A-Porter seems like an easy one. (Yoox CEO Federico Marchetti stated last year it considers Net-a-Porter its “biggest competitor.”) Amazon, meanwhile, has had a tough time courting the high-fashion world — though many brands refuse to sell through the site, their products still find their way onto Amazon’s pages via third-party retailers — and an acquisition of Net-a-Porter could help it break into that part of the market.
Where this will end, we’ll just have to wait and see.