Farfetch is on a roll this month. After the recent announcement that the luxury e-commerce platform had teamed up with publishing giant Condé Nast on a "global content and commerce partnership," effectively shuttering Style.com, the e-tailer announced another partnership on Thursday — this time with JD.com, China's largest retailer, receiving a $397-million investment. The new deal makes JD.com one of Farfetch's largest shareholders; founder and CEO Richard Liu will also join the Farfetch board.
The new deal is huge development for both JD.com and Farfetch. Together, the former now receives access to Farfetch's expertise in high-end fashion, while Farfetch — and the 700 brands and boutiques within its community — can now boost brand awareness among JD.com's Chinese consumers. For what it's worth, JD.com's luxury market is valued at a whopping $80 billion.
In an official statement, José Neves, Farfetch's founder, co-chairman and CEO, said:
China is the world's second largest luxury market, and we are delighted to have such a respected partner, known for its strict protection of IP, with whom to address Chinese luxury consumers. This partnership addresses the market's challenges by combining the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese e-commerce giant. This strategic partnership will provide brands a seamless, immediate access to the luxury consumer and Chinese luxury shoppers with access to the greatest selection of luxury in the omni-channel way of life they have already fully embraced.
JD.com and Farfetch will also join forces on marketing, logistics and technology solutions. This will include a (very lucrative) WeChat partnership, a variety of JD.com-specific services — including JD Finance, JD.com's financial arm and JD Luxury Express, its newly launched white glove service — as well as access to digital marketing technology platform BlackDragon, which will give Farfetch access to what a press release calls "JD's treasure trove of big data."
In May, Neves hinted that Farfetch may be going public as early as 2018. With the company's latest big-name partnerships, we have a feeling this will attract even more attention towards its anticipated IPO.