There was a time when it looked like Amazon wanted to become a destination for high-end fashion, but now that that goal is looking less attainable, the online retail giant may just acquire a destination instead.
According to a report in WWD, Amazon is in "ongoing talks" to buy Net-a-Porter, which could be valued at as much as €2 billion (about $2.2 billion). Reps from both parties declined to comment, and it's always possible that the talks could lead to nothing, but the deal would make sense for a few reasons.
Rumors have circulated since 2013 that Richemont, NaP's parent company, was looking to sell the luxury e-commerce and publishing company to focus on "hard luxury" businesses like fine jewelry and watches. NaP is Richemont's only business that does not actually produce goods, so it seems like an odd fit strategically.
Meanwhile, Amazon has been trying to get into the luxury fashion game for quite some time. After acquiring Shopbop in 2006 and flash sales site MyHabit in 2011, the retailer launched Amazon Fashion in 2012 and opened up studios to shoot fashion product images. However, a good chunk of the industry's more prominent luxury brands have steered clear of the massive retailer, perhaps seeing it as too downmarket. Neither of Amazon's other fashion retail properties has the luxury cache of Net-a-Porter.