Richemont’s costly e-commerce investments lead to a tenuous boost

Glossy – In 2018, French luxury group Richemont made some major investments into the e-commerce space, acquiring Yoox Net-a-Porter and pre-owned watch seller Watchfinder, and now there’s some indication as to how those investments are paying off. On Friday, Richemont released its annual earnings report for fiscal 2019, showing what acquiring these two companies had done for Richemont as a whole.

The short version is that Net-a-Porter and Watchfinder, which Richemont chairman Johann Rupert referred to as “our online distributors,” have been significant boosts to the company’s overall earnings, but have only begun to justify the massive costs associated with acquiring and operating them.

“It is rare to find retailers that are exclusively physical or online, as consumers expect both,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Richemont’s investment in luxury e-commerce companies has been a great way to diversify its portfolio from brand, product category and channel perspectives.”

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