London – Online fashion retailer Farfetch has announced strong growth figures for 2012, reflecting widespread consumer interest in locally curated items.
Founded in 2008, Farfetch works with 250 boutiques around the world to offer a selection of 82,000 products selected by small, independent retailers. The company’s annual sales reached $129m (€96.5m, £80.5m) in 2012, a rise of 145% compared with the previous year.
Founder and CEO José Neves says his role is a ‘curator of curators’, resulting in a product range that he believes sets it apart from other online retailers and department stores. Working with boutiques gives Farfetch access to hundreds of talented designers to whom large retailers cannot commit on the necessary scale.
‘Independent retailers over decades were instrumental to the building of the super-brands of today,’ says Neves. ‘They still fulfil that function. Not only do they buy the most interesting parts of the mega-brands, they also systematically scout the world for new talent and fashion.’
In addition, Neves says the items from leading brands available on his site are different from what is on sale elsewhere in e-commerce. ‘If you look at our selection of Givenchy, Yves St Laurent and Comme des Garçons, you can see that we have a different product selection than department stores and e-tailers.’
The company’s goal is to become the first global omni-channel retailer. Neves says it is well positioned for this because of its unique global network of physical locations.