Press commentary on Kering’s decision to end its partnership with Yoox Net-a-Porter, which has managed the majority of Kering’s ecommerce operations since 2012. Read the full article

On Kering’s standing vis-à-vis its competitors in the luxury conglomerate space:

With the purchase of Yoox Net-a-Porter by Richemont earlier this year and LVMH’s expansion into an e-commerce arm of Le Bon Marche with 24 Sèvres, Kering is the only one of the the big three luxury holdings groups without its own in-house, multi-brand e-commerce platform. Kering’s announcement this week that it is dropping a longstanding partnership with YNAP to take more of its e-commerce in-house could be the first step in Kering playing catch-up with its competitors.

Over the past few years, Kering has split off from its chief rivals LVMH and Richemont in terms of e-commerce strategy. While LVMH and Richemont have invested in multi-brand platforms that group all of their brands together, Kering has mostly kept its e-commerce properties separate. But that has not hindered Kering’s brands from seeing digital growth. Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said in December last year that online sales have grown by 86 percent since last year.

“It seems like with Gucci pulling a vast amount of revenue for Kering, they’re in a really good place,” said Richie Siegel, the founder of retail analytics company Loose Threads. “Louis Vuitton has been less digital-savvy than Gucci has. I think Kering is on top from a brand perspective, and Richemont is better from a retail perspective.”

On the logic behind Kering’s decision:

Until now, Kering has outsourced much of the backend of its e-commerce platforms, relying on technology from Yoox to power the e-commerce stores of many of its biggest brands, although not for its prized possession Gucci. But that partnership was struck before Yoox merged with Net-a-Porter and the combined company was purchased by Kering rival Richemont. Given that, it seems Kering’s dropping of Yoox was meant to ensure one of its rivals is not profiting off Kering’s brands.

“They don’t want to give all their data to a rival,” Siegel said. “They need to build out their own expertise; it’s a necessary investment for the future.”