Munich’s Theresa boutique has become a global business online.
The retailer’s Web site mytheresa.com carries labels such as Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent and Valentino, buying deeply into a tightly edited selection of labels. That, and its laserlike focus on customer service, has buoyed the business to net revenues of 66 million euros, or $90.8 million, in 2013.
“Our e-commerce heart beats as loud as our fashion heart,” said managing director Jens Riewenherm. “It’s not about only being superinspirational and supersophisticated in fashion, it’s also about efficiency and service.”
Since 2010, the retailer’s online business has been growing by more than 50 percent every year, according to Riewenherm, and is set to achieve sales of 100 million euros, or $137.6 million, for the current fiscal year. Earlier this year, the retailer boosted its team by appointing Paula Reed, formerly fashion director of Harvey Nichols, as creative director.
Riewenherm, who was in London with the boutique’s cofounder and chief executive officer Christoph Botschen last month, also noted that the retailer has been profitable “from Day One,” when it launched online in 2006. “We are experienced in retail,” said Botschen, who launched the online store as an offshoot of his and his wife Susanne’s brick-and-mortar store, which opened in 1987.
“We are not from publishing, we are retailers. We started in the store, and we know how to handle this business,” he said, adding that as luxury retail is “sensitive…selecting the right pieces from brands, we did not want to [bring] big equity into our company.”
Riewenherm noted that what also contributes to the firm’s bottom line is that for the luxury e-commerce sector, the average order value “is one of the highest you can find in e-commerce,” he said. Mytheresa.com’s average order basket is about 600 euros, or $825. “As we are so focused on the high-end, luxury brands [that attract] a very loyal, affluent customer,” he said.
Botschen said the store’s international clientele — only 35 percent of its business is with customers in Germany — look to mytheresa.com for its edit of labels and its “curated” product selection, which revolves around a “feminine, Continental taste.”
Unlike Net-a-porter’s broad selection of brands, Riewenherm pointed out, mytheresa.com focuses on about 180 labels but buys deeper. So in step is the retailer with its customers’ tastes, when the firm sent out an e-mail newsletter in March alerting customers to a pair of studded Saint Laurent boots, the boots, which retail for about $2,450, sold out in “two-and-a-half hours,” Riewenherm said.
As for mytheresa.com’s future growth, the retailer is looking at launching dedicated local Web sites in the Middle East — planned for later this year — and in Asia Pacific and Australia, along with a hub in Asia to offer customer service in those territories, forecast to open at the end of 2015. The retailer already allows customers in those territories to pay in local currencies, but the language is currently in English. Following the launch of sites dedicated to Italy and France, the retailer’s business there doubled, Riewenherm said.
Riewenherm said he believes that the luxury e-commerce market “is so underpenetrated, the growth is there in every region almost. It’s still [in] Europe where we see growth rates, after we localized [the Web site].”
The retailer has also launched a mobile site, and has plans to launch a size-and-fit tool for customers to better choose sizes from different labels and reduce returns.
Overall, Botschen is bullish about mytheresa.com’s potential. “[The business] will grow constantly, as the entry barriers in our industry are extremely high, it’s difficult for someone else to get into our market, with our brand portfolio — [brands] are very sensitive, and with us they know that we’re very reliable, that we won’t do anything that they might not like,” he said. “With everything we’re very sincere, and that’s a key asset, I would say.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews