Online fashion retailer Farfetch sees losses widen as it eyes float

Joanna Bourke
Fashion entrepreneur Dame Natalie Massenet is co-chairman of luxury online retailer Farfetch: Getty Images

Luxury online retailer Farfetch on Tuesday laid bare how aggressively it has expanded to compete with rivals and prepare for a float, as the business revealed losses have swelled.

The firm, which this year appointed Net-a-Porter founder Dame Natalie Massenet as co-chairman, said it invested in new technology and boosted staff numbers last year.

It saw losses widen to £34 million from £28.7 million in 2015, new accounts show.

Farfetch, which sells goods from 700 boutiques and stocks labels such as Burberry and Marc Jacobs, was founded by entrepreneur José Neves in 2008.

It saw revenues surge 74% to £151.3 million, of which £12 million came from the UK. Neves praised “rapid growth”.

The company is thought to be exploring a $5 billion (£3.8 billion) stock market listing in New York.

It has also unveiled plans to expand in China and has agreed a deal with publisher Condé Nast, whereby its titles GQ and Vogue send shoppers to Farfetch via links from their websites.

But the firm’s strategic report warned one risk it faces is potential “increased activity from existing competitors”.

Rivals include Yoox Net-a-Porter and Matchesfashion.com. Both have opened new centres in London, and agreed more partnerships with brands.

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