Stephanie Horton, chief marketing officer, Farfetch.
By Laura Turner
19 April 2016
Farfetch, the online destination for the world’s best independent boutiques, launched kidswear last month. Drawing from its current roster of boutiques, as well as some new specialist signings, the offering covers the 0-12 years age bracket. Farfetch’s chief marketing officer Stephanie Horton, who has been heavily involved in the kidswear launch, reveals more.
Laura Turner: What is Farfetch?
Stephanie Horton: Farfetch.com was founded in 2008 by our CEO, José Neves. At the time, independent boutiques were struggling without an online presence and as the popularity of online shopping increased, larger retailers were going online and benefiting from being able to sell to more customers.
José’s idea was to offer the best independent luxury boutiques in the world a chance to compete with big online players by coming together on one online platform. For example, if you have a boutique in Lisbon, Dubrovnik or Mumbai, you have your own local clientele. But, these customers are also shopping online, along with a group of other customers who may never set foot in your boutique. So, if you aren’t selling online, it is a huge missed opportunity. José owned a boutique himself called B Store, so this meant he could really relate to what independent retailers wanted and needed at the time; as an entrepreneur this gave him a unique perspective.
In essence, we want to revolutionise the way people shop for fashion. We unite over 400 boutiques internationally from London, Miami and Copenhagen to Croatia, Kuwait and Tokyo, into one online destination; this is the foundation of our business. We are an e-commerce brand that successfully bridges the gap between online and offline and who celebrates the independent retailer by giving them a global platform to sell through. The Farfetch partner boutiques occupy a total of more than 1,000,000 sq ft of retail space. The diversity of boutiques and their buyers creates a far broader product offer than e-commerce businesses with traditional buying models, allowing customers to shop an unparalleled range of brands and unique pieces from around the world.
LT: What is Farfetch’s current reach?
SH: We receive around 10 million monthly visits to the site.
LT: Why launch a kidswear division?
SH: The highly discerning shoppers who visit us every month for our fashion and lifestyle offering were asking for kidswear to be added. And the recent success of the brand, its growth and international expansion has facilitated this development. The official launch of the kidswear category was on 1 March and we marked it by working with renowned illustrator Will Broome, who created a bespoke kidswear art gift.
LT: What will the kidswear division cover?
SH: We are really excited to be launching with 16 boutiques and more than 70 brands. Age range spans newborn to 12 years, covering clothing through to shoes and accessories.
LT: What are the criteria for the kidswear category?
SH: Every one of our boutiques has been selected for its unique approach, forward-thinking attitude and diversity. Each boutique buyer has their own one-of-a-kind buying style and sources some of the most interesting pieces from all over the world, allowing our customers access to an unparalleled range of brands and unique items.
For the launch, we have an amazing selection; from kidswear boutiques such as Carofiglio Junior in Italy and Kids 21 in Singapore to brands including Stella McCartney Kids, Hucklebones, Caramel Baby and Child, Roksanda, Burberry Kids and more.
LT: What are the growth plans for kidswear?
SH: Since we have just launched, we are focusing on providing the best and most diverse offering of kidswear to our customers; ensuring their experience in this new category on Farfetch is of the same calibre as our existing womenswear and menswear.
LT: Are there any other developments for Farfetch?
SH: In the past couple of months we have partnered with our first boutiques in Morocco (Studio 14), Singapore and Malaysia (Club 21). We’re always looking for new boutiques that can offer our customers something completely different. We still have lots of markets that we’re very interested in exploring.
I’m also very happy to announce that we have just expanded into beauty, partnering with industry expert Space NK Apothecary. We’re thrilled that it is our first beauty partner to launch on Farfetch.
LT: Tell us something we don’t know about Farfetch…
SH: Farfetch has been global from the beginning: we launched the site with 25 boutiques from five countries, and this is an element of the brand which remains at our core.
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