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Farfetch Takes Its Turn Under the Microscope

The luxury marketplace reports results amid scepticism about e-commerce stocks and as its YNAP deal inches forward. That, plus what else to watch for in the coming week.
A shot of the Farfetch logo on a white background with blurred images of models in the background.
Farfetch expects to spend up to $170 million on one of its main sales growth driver in 2023. (Shutterstock)

Last week, fashion start-ups as diverse as Warby Parker and ThredUp showed they could not only lay out a path to profitability, but stick to it. This week, the biggest fashion tech play of the last decade has its turn under the microscope.

Like those other companies, Farfetch is making moves to regain the market’s faith. It’s shaken up its executive team, cut back on marketing spend and, most crucially, is inching toward completing its tie-up with its biggest competitor, Yoox Net-a-Porter. Its fourth-quarter results, reported in February, showed a smaller decline in revenue than analysts were anticipating.

The halo, such as it was, didn’t last. Farfetch’s share price hit an all-time low on May 1. For now, the YNAP deal is one more source of uncertainty (the fact that the luxury e-tailer Farfetch is taking on also operates at a loss doesn’t help). The focus this week will likely be on nuts and bolts: reducing inventory, revving up sales in China and finding ways to get Americans to shop online that doesn’t involve delivering truckloads of cash to Instagram’s ad sales department on a daily basis.

The company will face a tough audience when it reports first-quarter results on May 18. Investors who bailed on DTC brands and fashion tech platforms last year are staying on the sidelines; most of the companies that reported stronger-than-expected results last week got a small bump to their share price at best. After so much balance sheet carnage, a quarter or two of shrinking losses or a smaller-than-expected drop in sales isn’t enough to change the narrative.

For that to happen, Farfetch and other fashion e-commerce companies need to show they’ve turned a corner, and allow their new business plans to shine. It helps to have a leading market position and enough cash to see a turnaround plan through. Farfetch has both of those things, especially once the YNAP deal is complete. The question is whether it will be enough.

What Else to Watch for This Week


International Woolmark Prize winner announced in Paris

Australian Fashion Week begins


Gucci Cruise show in Seoul

Cannes Film Festival opens

On reports earnings

US retail sales data for April released


TJX, Macy’s, Watches of Switzerland report earnings

Eurozone April inflation data released


Ross, Burberry, Canada Goose, Farfetch report earnings


VF Corp, Foot Locker report earnings


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