Farfetch is in the midst of its most aggressive expansion since it was founded in 2008.
The online platform for luxury boutiques rolled out beauty on Monday and introduces kids apparel today — the latest steps in company’s quest to become a lifestyle destination. Stephanie Horton, Farfetch’s chief marketing officer, predicted sales on the platform, or its gross merchandise volume, would rise to $800 million this year from over $500 million in 2015.
The new verticals come after last year’s emphasis on global growth, which saw it open new offices in Japan and Australia and acquire the famed British boutique Browns in May. Farfetch raised $86 million last year, making it one of fashions tech “unicorns” with a valuations of a billion dollars or more.
And the company’s looking for more.
“Beauty is a huge category overall in the regular retail environment so we’re planning accordingly,” Horton said.
Farfetch.com now carries 100 global beauty brands including Hourglass, Eve Lom, By Terry, Lipstick Queen and Chantecaille via a partnership with Space NK. The U.K.-based cosmetics retailer, which has 86 doors worldwide, will be the first beauty retailer to sell on Farfetch. But the partnership isn’t exclusive and Horton said the team will evaluate the category and “look to take on other partners at a later date.”
As for children’s fashions, 16 boutiques — from Babylon Bus in Italy and Edit in New York to Azzurro in Amsterdam and Jofre in Barcelona — will sell wares from 70 brands, including Stella McCartney Kids, London-based Hucklebones, Caramel Baby, Roksanda and Burberry Kids.
“Consumers have really been asking, especially about kids,” Horton said. “As the consumer drives a lot of business decisions these days, it was prudent that we look into it. We hadn’t had a new category expansion in eight years. It was time to add a little bit to the platform.”
About five percent of the marketplace’s partners will offer children’s apparel at the onset, but Horton predicts that Farfetch will be adding new boutiques at a rapid rate.
For Jose Neves, founder and chief executive officer of Farfetch, who said that many of the platform’s 400 boutique and brand partners already sold kids clothing in-store, this roll out is a “natural extension.” He declined to give sales projections for the first year for either category.