default-output-block.skip-main
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Why is Net-a-Porter on the IPO Block?

BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.
Net-a-Porter | Source: Net-a-Porter.com
By
  • Imran Amed

LONDON, United Kingdom — Speculation was swirling again today that Net-a-Porter, the pioneering fashion e-commerce retailer acquired by Swiss luxury goods group Richemont in 2010, might IPO next year. The rumours follow earlier speculation that Richemont was in talks with Net-a-Porter rival Yoox about a potential merger of the two fashion e-commerce giants.

Here's the thing. While Net-a-Porter has dropped into the red in recent years (losing about $16 million on revenues of about $840 million dollars in the year ending 29 March 2014, according to filings at Companies House) and raised eyebrows with the launch of its print magazine Porter, it undoubtedly remains one of the most desirable, modern and exciting businesses in the global fashion ecosystem. At various points in the development of the company, it has been courted by global media companies and luxury conglomerates, all of whom were aiming to inject some of Net-a-Porter's special digital sauce into their long-established businesses, which have struggled to keep up with the digital revolution.

Why Richemont — a company whose own fashion brands, including Dunhill, Lancel, Alaïa and Chloé remain digital laggards and have struggled to grow — would want to shed the most desirable business in its fashion portfolio remains a mystery. Last year, revenues at Net-a-Porter grew by 23 percent, while, in August of this year, Richemont reported that it's growth is flatlining, with only a 4 percent annual increase in the five months to the end of August 2014, down from 9 percent in the same five-month period a year earlier.

Rumours will continue to swirl around Net-a-Porter — and the company has not executed perfectly in recent months. But the smart money says that over the long-term, this is a business with real staying power.

Please enjoy our top stories for the week gone by:

Colin's Column | Inside the Mind of Alber Elbaz
Alber Elbaz, designer of the storied house of Lanvin, talks to Colin McDowell about his career, the Internet, the atelier, the problem with pre-collections and being a hypochondriac.

Creative Class | Alister Mackie, Stylist and Creative Director
As Another Man celebrates its tenth anniversary with a new book, the magazine's creative director Alister Mackie sits down with BoF to discuss his analogue working methods, the 1990s Britpop scene that shaped his distinctive indie styling and his relationship with Katy England.

East of Eden: How Russia's Isolationism is Impacting Fashion, Part One — Media
As Vladimir Putin's policies push Russia further away from the global community, new laws limiting foreign ownership of Russian media will force publications in the country to restructure. Should the fashion press be worried?

East of Eden: How Russia's Isolationism is Impacting Fashion, Part Two — Retail
At the beginning of the year, Russia was one of the world's most promising fashion markets. But in the last ten months, isolationist policies combined with a fragile financial climate have seen the country's economy plummet.

Between Fine and Fashion Jewellery, Monica Vinader is Poised for Expansion
Fast-growing Monica Vinader has successfully tapped a gap between fine and fashion jewellery. Now, the company is moving ahead with its long-held plans for global expansion.

Feeding the Feed
In recent years, the stream of social events staged by fashion brands has spilled well beyond fashion weeks, primarily to keep pace with online fans who expect new content each time they refresh their feeds.

Finery London Launches with Financing From Rocket Internet-Backed GFG
BoF can exclusively reveal that new British womenswear brand Finery London is set to launch in 2015 with critical global distribution deals and financing from Rocket Internet-backed Global Fashion Group.

And don't forget to check out BoF Weekly, a week in review published with Flipboard and updated every Saturday.

Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

© 2021 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
Voices2021
© 2021 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy policy.
Voices2021