American Marketer


Farfetch investigates future of luxury retail at inaugural conference

April 12, 2017

FarfetchOS promotional image


Online retailer Farfetch is bringing together minds from the worlds of technology and fashion as it aims to further disrupt the luxury retail landscape.

The day-long FarfetchOS event at the Design Museum in London on April 12 includes speakers from platforms such as Spotify and Instagram, as well as fashion industry players such as Natalie Massenet and Buro247’s Miroslava Duma.While technology and ecommerce are becoming a greater part of the luxury ecosystem, Farfetch sees digital innovation as a companion to the in-store journey rather than a replacement for the bricks-and-mortar experience.

Looking ahead
The invitation-only FarfetchOS is sponsored by information and communications technology firm Huawei.

Bain & Company partners Claudia D'Arpizio and Federica Levato presented new research on millennials, while a panel moderated by L2’s Ashley Tolbert covered “How Digital is Eating the World.”

Farfetch CEO José Neves and Farfetch’s recently appointed co-chairman Ms. Massenet tackled the retailer’s “post-omnichannel” plans.

While exclusive to the 200 or so retailers chosen for participation, Farfetch livesteamed some panels to democratize the event.

Image source Farfetch

Along with the sessions, Farfetch unveiled a number of initiatives at the event. Among these is a partnership with Gucci on speedy delivery and Farfetch’s vision for the “Store of the Future,” which aims to personalize and humanize the retail experience through data and technology.

“The ecommerce model that most companies embraced until now needs to change to become much more customer-centric," said Mr. Neves in a statement. "The future of luxury fashion – we believe – will involve to a large extent the physical store, where nine out of 10 transactions still take place. But the future of the physical store will be augmented by digital platforms."

Farfetch began as a pure-play ecommerce solution for independent boutiques, but the platform has increasingly looked to connect online and offline.

In 2015, Farfetch bought London retailer Browns, looking to the store's bricks-and-mortar environment to test out new concepts. Previously, Farfetch would have to ask partner brands for permission to test out new ideas (see story).