Luxury beauty is the gift that keeps on giving. Bain & Co, the global management consultant, predicts that the global luxury beauty category will reach US$69 billion by 2025 to become the second largest sector in the worldwide personal luxury market.
Retail Beauty recently reported that Farfetch, the luxury e-commerce platform, had acquired Violet Grey, the US-based cult luxury beauty retailer, in a bid to launch the platform, Beauty on the Farfetch Marketplace.
The moment has arrived. Last week, Farfetch rolled out more than 100 makeup, skincare, haircare, fragrance and grooming brands. Established and niche names include Tom Ford, La Mer, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Sisley Paris, Olaplex, YSL Beauty, Westman Atelier, Chantecaille, Cle de Peau, Christophe Robin, Augustinus Bader, Kjaer Weis, Maison Martin Margiela, By Terry, Susanne Kaufmann and Dr Barbara Sturm.
The beauty brands are available across three core businesses – Farfetch.com, Browns, the iconic UK fashion and luxury goods boutique, and the New Guards Group, the Italian luxury fashion holding company acquired by Farfetch in 2019.
Founded in 2007, Farfetch posted annual sales of US$2.3 billion and gross merchandise volume of US$4.2 billion in 2021. The company’s goal is to offer the best luxury beauty products to service customers across all ages, races, cultures and genders, says Holli Rogers, chief brand officer of Farfetch and chair of Browns.
“All of our companies have different perspectives but we are united in the same goal, which is to take beauty beyond boundaries”, she adds. “The acquisition of upscale LA beauty retailer Violet Grey in January this year was a clear demonstration of intent”.
Farfetch has a significant percentage of Gen Z and Millennial customers. Its foray into beauty puts it in direct competition with leading international beauty retailers, including Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Space NK, department stores and fashion e-tailers such as Net-a-Porter.
In early April, Farfetch also invested US$200 million in the storied US department store group, Neiman Marcus, to expand its innovation and digital capabilities