12 May 2017

LVMH launches new online store

If you can remember the Eluxury.com website and being sad when it closed down in 2009, then this news will make you happy. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, as it’s the full name of company, will be soon launching a new online platform named 24Sevres.com, to satisfy its customers’ needs for luxury items.

LVMH’s first attempt on the web was in selling expensive handbags, but failed when brands pulled out in favour of selling through their own online shops. The new site will feature more than 150 luxury labels, when it goes online sometime in June. LVMH wants a part of the luxury online market segment, which was dominated until now by Prada and Gucci.

The new site for the company’s Parisian department store Le Bon Marche, represents a step up in competition across the digital side of fashion industry. Yoox Net-a-Porter and Farfetch, the industry’s newcomers are strong adversaries, ready to take on larger traditional companies. 24Sevres.com will ship from France to more than 75 countries, focusing initially on womenswear. Sixty-eight brands will contribute exclusive products for the launch.

LVMH seems to pay great attention in its new project. It couldn’t do otherwise because of the booming revenue that e-commerce offers. The company feared no expenses when it hired Ian Rogers. Rogers worked as a music executive for Apple.Inc when LVMH offered him to head the digital efforts of the company. But why an executive with Rogers’ experience would engage in a sector so crowded and competitive as fashion?

“It’s a modest beginning, but LVMH plays a long game. We believe we are on the cusp of revealing something very exciting. I guess it’s time to see if the customers think so too,” a rather excited Rogers says. Asked about why does the company believe that it will succeed in a sector that it failed in the past, Rogers said that timing is the most important in every new effort.

It won’t be the first time that Rogers is called to lead a new business endeavor. In the past, he has been chief executive of Beats Music, which he held during its takeover by Apple before becoming head of iTunes Radio. For the new task that he has been assigned with he says: “LVMH approached me with this opportunity. I had this feeling about retail, that it would be the next frontier to really change, where the real winners are yet to be determined. I realized that if I really believed in that, there could be no better place to go.”

LVMH has considered every branding possibility for 24Sevres.com, which will initially stock only womenswear, but will maintain a connection to Le Bon Marche store, with its 160-year old history in retail sales. The name that has been selected for the website is the same given to the loyalty program run by the department store, with thousands of existing members. Users of the website and of the mobile app, which will be available in Apple Store and Google Play, will benefit from the loyalty program.

Although the items listed will be upmarket, Rogers said that the cost of building this new business isn’t large. He declined to talk about how much it actually is, but he said that they selected a start-up approach. Rogers suggested that customers should not combine the new website with only LVMH products. “Don’t think of this as a LVMH e-commerce project. Think of this as us taking Le Bon Marche international via the Internet.”

Rogers says that the strategy shifted from being early adapters, as in the case of ELuxury.com, to being careful and use past experiences to improve results. “If there is quality in what you do, you aren’t threatened. Timing-wise, this exactly where LVMH wants to be,” said the American chief executive.