Now one million people look like they just picked up a little something chic from Casablanca’s Studio 14 or Kuala Lumpur’s Club 21 at Malaysia.
International luxury e-tailer Farfetch has just reached its millionth customer, and since its founding in 2008, big numbers have become a bit of a trend for the London-based company.
Farfetch, whose mission is to sell online the unique wares found in boutiques from around the world, delivers to anywhere that DHL does, and its growing customer base, which spans 190 countries, means the company’s geographic — and financial — footprint have expanded along with it.
To date, Farfetch has raised $305 million in funding and was last year valued at $1 billion. Its total transaction value is at more than $500 million; this is a number that grew more than 70 percent in 2015. Total transaction value for 2016 is expected to exceed $800 million.
The company, founded by Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves, now has web sites in more than nine languages and offers products from 400 boutiques in a total of 38 countries; by way of reference, it started with 25 boutiques in five countries.
“From that day in 2007 at Paris Fashion Week when I dreamed about creating a global platform for the luxury industry, to the launch in 2008 with 25 boutiques in the trenches of one of the world’s greatest recessions, onward to the vibrant company and community we’ve built today, it’s been an exhilarating journey,” Neves said. “And serving our one-millionth customer feels like a dream and ironically at the same time, the start of an even bigger adventure.”
Farfetch’s 1,000 employees work in offices in 11 cities. The U.S. accounts for most of its business, followed by the U.K., Australia and Brazil.
Farfetch is known for a more diverse assortment than that traditionally found in larger department stores or major online marketplaces because it reflects the typically more curated and risky offerings in independent boutiques. Items cost between a few hundred dollars to those that are thousands of dollars.
Last September it introduced Farfetch Black & White, which allowed brands to use its e-commerce platform to use as an independent e-commerce site or to create a mono-brand boutique that was directly on Farfetch.com. In February, it expanded to include kids and beauty.
The first Farfetch order on Oct. 4, 2008, was a handbag, shipped to a woman in Italy from London. Since then, Farfetch has sold enough shoes to circle the equator six times and enough clothes to cover the Empire State Building six times.
In addition to popular women’s brands such as Chloé, Valentino and Givenchy, other women’s brands that do well include MSGM, Sacai, Rosie Assoulin and Erika Cavallini. The most popular men’s brands include Givenchy, Thom Brown, Rick Owens, Philipp Plein and Brunello Cucinelli. Of the 1,500 brands on the site, the most rare are housed under a dedicated page called Farfetch Finds, which boasts the most unique pieces.