In the luxury e-commerce arms race, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group had an early advantage. Natalie Massenet launched Net-a-Porter in 2000, seven whole years before Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves did Farfetch, while Yoox Group, YNAP's secondary branch, entered the space in 2000. Massenet grew Net-a-Porter to seemingly uncharted levels, and quickly; when the company's merger was finalized in September 2015, it would have been difficult to believe that any competitive e-tailer had a shot in hell at coming remotely close.
But just two years later, here we are: Massenet is employed by Farfetch now, sitting on its board of directors, with the company having gone on something of a hiring and acquiring spree. In 2017, Farfetch linked up with Condé Nast to both buy and shutter Style.com, tapping street style doyenne Yasmin Sewell to be the retailer's Vice President of Style and Creative, while also securing a $397 million mega-investment from Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.
Should YNAP be nervous? The company posted 17.7 percent net revenue growth in 2016 to €1.9 billion (or $1.9 billion), and is expanding internationally at a faster rate than most others in the space — both of which are enormously impressive. But just strictly in terms of growth, Farfetch's fiscal 2016 earnings, which WWD reports were just recently filed at Companies House in London, blew YNAP out of the water: In the 12 months ending December 31, 2016, Farfetch reported a 74 percent — seventy-four percent — jump in revenue from 28.7 million (about $33.9 million) to €151.3 million (about $179.8 million), with 81 percent growth in gross merchandise value. In a statement, the company also noted that the website now sees 21 million visits to its websites every month — which, again, is not too far off from YNAP's reported 28.8 million from 2016.
"Our programme of investment is designed to support the company's ambitious growth plans, and over the year we focused our investments on technology, as well as customer acquisition and hiring to support our growth," noted Neves in a release. "We have very strong foundations in place and will continue to invest and grow our business as we build the definitive technology platform for the luxury industry."
To be fair, Farfetch is certainly still theoretical miles (i.e., hundreds of thousands of dollars) away from YNAP, but that growth is startling. And this is still referring to 2016, mind you, so none of the aforementioned investments the company made this year are reflected. All of which means: I'd buckle up, YNAP, because this time next year, Farfetch's 2017 year-end earnings are going to be a doozy. See you back here in November 2018.