LONDON — After securing a reported 1 billion dollar deal with private equity firm Apax Partners, Matchesfashion.com is forging ahead with its growth strategy.Today, it announced plans to open a new distribution center located near Heathrow Airport, in West London. The new site, which is set to open in 2018, will enable the retailer to increase the capacity of shipments it can handle while continuing to provide the luxury touches Matchesfashion.com has come to be known for, from its signature marble boxes to handwritten notes to customers.The site also has the potential to be redesigned and expand to cover up to 500,000 square feet, allowing the retailer to reach its goals of handling up to 4 million shipments a year by 2020.“This is a significant evolution of our logistics operation as the business experiences continued strong growth and achieves increased scale. This development will further strengthen our reputation for the best in class luxury service globally,” said Ulric Jerome, the retailer's chief executive officer.The proximity to Heathrow airport will also allow the company to provide speedy deliveries to its global customer base, as well as continue offering its 90-minute delivery option in London. Matchesfashion.com currently ships to 176 countries, and as the business seeks scale, further establishing itself in international markets will be key.“It’s about going into other territories so that they can tap further into international markets using that same brand name,” said retail consultant Paul Thomas, pointing to the U.S., the Far East and China in particular, as well as the rest of Europe, as markets with growth potential. “By doing that, they’ll also be able to add more brands to the site and expand their customer base.In addition to its logistics operations, Matchesfashion.com has been expanding its office spaces across the board. Its headquarters at the Shard were increased by 40 percent, reaching 48,000 square feet, while earlier this year the company also announced the opening of a new hub in East London which will house its editorial, photography and video teams. The hub is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and will enable the creative teams to explore alternate ways of presenting product online, as well as increase the amount of product uploaded on a daily basis.Investment in digital content has been another integral part of the retailer's growth plan. Last week, it launched daily content on its app, a growing platform which now accounts for 15 percent of the business' revenues. Complementing the weekly online magazine, The Style Report, the daily content offers shoppable features and the ability for shoppers to curate the editorial content they prefer to read.Further personalization features and the creation of responsive content — based on geotargeting and user actions — are also in the works.
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