Farfetch buys Violet Grey ahead of deep dive into beauty later this year
Farfetch announced a big move on Friday as it revealed that it’s to acquire US-based luxury beauty retailer, Violet Grey, for an undisclosed sum. And it also said the acquisition comes ahead of the launch of the Beauty category on the Farfetch Marketplace, which is scheduled for later in the year.
Violet Grey has built up a reputation as a content destination as well as a place to buy beauty products and is known as a launchpad for brands.
Farfetch said its new buy has “a devoted community who love the brand for its expertise and the trust they’ve built amongst customers”. It added that the acquisition “brings industry expertise as well as a curated selection of products to be offered on the Farfetch Marketplace, and expands the beauty curator’s reach to extend to [our] global customer base”.
Violet Grey will also leverage the Farfetch Platform Solutions’ “expertise in technology, global logistics and operations in continuing to drive its standalone business, comprised of VioletGrey.com and its Los Angeles retail store”.
The purchase allows Farfetch to add on a ready-made beauty business as it expands its operation into the sector and to draw on the expertise of Violet Grey founder, Cassandra Grey, who will become a global advisor for Beauty on the Farfetch Marketplace.
She’s also been designated co-founder of NGG Beauty “where she will work to incubate and accelerate new brands” and will be Chair of Violet Grey, “providing overall strategic and creative direction and continuing to build the community that Violet Grey is known for”.
Farfetch is also adding a seasoned exec from within its own team with Niten Kapadia, previously VP Operations, taking the role of Managing Director for Violet Grey.
As mentioned, Farfetch is — like other luxury and mass-market e-tail giants — embracing beauty as a key channel for growth and it said its beauty proposition will offer its “extensive Millennial and Generation Z luxury audience a unique experience for discovering and shopping for beauty. It will allow customers to access insights and expertise from multiple beauty experts and communities, including the Violet Grey community”.
For brand partners, its expansion into beauty also “provides an opportunity to reach [its] millions of engaged luxury customers through co-branding and marketing opportunities to target the global luxury beauty market, estimated to be almost $69 billion and the second largest category within the global personal luxury market, after leather goods, and ahead of apparel”.
Stephanie Phair, Chief Customer Officer at Farfetch, said: “The acquisition is an important step ahead of the launch of beauty and will form part of our overall beauty strategy ‘palette’. Our aim for beauty is to provide the world’s most expansive, curated edit of the best products to serve customers across ages, races, cultures and genders in an ‘Only on Farfetch’ way.
“We’ll be able to show our customers an immersive crossover between fashion and beauty, leveraging our innovation capabilities to offer exciting features for our customers. Farfetch will bring together niche and global brands to transform the beauty retail experience, creating an environment that offers beauty without boundaries.”
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