LVMH is making its biggest e-commerce push yet with the launch of 24 Sevres, a multi-brand e-commerce platform inspired by its Parisian department store, Le Bon Marche.
Announced today after months of rumors, the website — launching June 6 — will cull fashion, beauty and luggage products from over 150 brands, 20 of which, like Louis Vuitton and Dior, are under the company’s helm. It’s unclear whether or not competitor brands owned by Kering and Richemont will participate.
Available in over 70 countries, the site could easily pose a threat to established luxury platforms like Net-a-Porter and Farfetch.
“It’s new competition, to be sure,” said Charlie Cole, the chief digital officer at Tumi. “But I think they both have something differentiated to offer.” Indeed, Net-a-Porter has the first-mover advantage, as well as the infrastructure in place to service major metro areas like New York and Los Angeles with same-day deliveries. Farfetch, for its part, has leveraged boutique brand names to offer a wide variety of respected merchandising points of view, said Cole.
What’s more, these established players could have the logistical advantage. “E-commerce is driven by marketing efficiency and customer service,” said Thomas Rankin, the chief executive officer and founder of the visual intelligence platform Dash Hudson. “These are difficult to get right, so LVMH will need to prove that they can step up to the challenge.”
But, with or without these advantages, 24 Sevres could pose less of a challenge than expected.
Ian Rogers — LVMH’s head of digital, who was scooped up from Apple in 2015 — has hinted that 24 Sevres will be more tightly curated than its predecessors. “The idea is to be attractive, with unique products, not necessarily to have a huge offering,” he told Business of Fashion. This is quite a different mission than that of Net-a-Porter, who sells over 350 brands and is adding more by the day, or Farfetch, who boasts over 3,000 designers.
But, though comparably small, there’s a lot riding on its success. The company has reportedly invested several million euros on the project.
Although e-commerce still makes up a small portion of overall luxury sales, McKinsey and Company predicts that number will triple to €70 billion, or $76 billion, by 2025. Whether 24 Sevres can contribute significantly to that upward trend remains to be seen.
“The question will be whether LVMH can use this as a medium to give people access to things they can’t get elsewhere,” said Cole.