How has the combined Yoox and Net-a-Porter online fashion giant been faring since the Italian and UK businesses linked-up? Pretty well actually with global growth in the double-digits and m-commerce sales growing fast – very fast.
OK, for three-quarters of the period covered, Yoox and NaP continued to operate separately (their ‘merger’ was announced in March and completed in early October) but if we pretend the business was one big happy family from January 1, the figures do look good.
The business released its sales figures for 2015 on Monday and we heard none of the complaints about unseasonably warm or cold weather denting sales. Instead, it saw a rise of a bigger-than-expected 31%. And in Q4, when the weather was particularly challenging and lots of fashion retailers suffered, the business still managed a sales rise of 27.8%.
Some of that was down to the weak euro that made its sales look better. But even with positive currency effects factored-out, the rise for the full-year was 21% to €1.7bn. While a lot of that was about Yoox selling goods at a discount, full-price sales were also key. Revenue at its online flagships (for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Marni) rose 19.2% for the year, and 20.8% in Q4.
And the company said it saw an “excellent performance” at the Net-a-porter and Mr Porter’s sites. In fact, last year’s ‘In-Season’ business line (ie NaP itself, Mr Porter, plus Yoox’s Thecorner and Shoescribe sites) saw pro-forma revenues of €893.3m, up just short of 37%.
What also characterised last year was the fact that more and more sales came via m-commerce as smartphone and tablet shopping made as much of an impact on luxury as it did on the mass-market. That’s a wake-up call for high-end brands still unconvinced by the smartphone shopping revolution.
Mobile accounted for as much as 40% of Yoox-NaP’s sales last year, boosted by native apps, which surged an astonishing 180%. It’ll be interesting to see what those percentages stand at this time next year.
Also important was the group’s expansion internationally with some markets being standout performers. While it grew in double-digits across the world, particularly impressive was the 37.3% UK rise, the 43.3% North American rise and the 36.9% Asia-Pacific rise.
The company had 27.1m average monthly unique visitors last year, up from 23.6m in 2014, and saw 7.1m orders, up from 5.8m. It had 2.5m active customers, up from 2.1m and the average order value was a healthy €352.
Some analysts doubt it will be able to maintain this level of growth – let’s face it, there has to be a slowdown at some point. Will 2016 be the year that happens? We know that luxury shoppers are worried about falling share prices and aren’t getting so much cash through from their oil wells, while aspirational shoppers are concerned about talk of a possible global recession.
But the Yoox arm of Yoox-NaP in particular has shown itself well able to grow in bad economic times as well as good. I’ll be interested to see whether it can make the NaP part of the business turn in healthy profits though. Whatever happens, it will definitely be an interesting year for this business.
This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday