French luxury house Chanel has teamed up with global e-commerce platform Farfetch to develop digital initiatives, including a branded app to help create a personalized in-store experiences for Chanel shoppers, according to Reuters. Farfetch connects buyers to luxury fashion items from more 700 boutiques worldwide. Under the new deal, Chanel will not sell its products through Farfetch, but will work with the platform on digital innovations linked to customer services. These could include smartphone applications allowing people to flag their preferences and sizes online before entering a store, enabling assistants to cater to their needs or help them locate an item spotted in a magazine, for instance.
“This is about how to enrich our relationship with our customers,” Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s fashion president, told Reuters. Pavlovsky did not give any financial details about the partnership.
Total Retail's Take: Luxury goods companies worldwide are trying to expand their digital services to court younger and more tech-savvy consumers. Last week, for example, Burberry said it was teaming up with Farfetch to make all of its products available to internet shoppers in 150 countries. Burberry said the Farfetch partnership would expand its distribution around the world, making its whole inventory widely available as it targets "a young fashion-conscious consumer." Farfetch will also provide around-the-clock deliveries of Burberry's latest collection in the 24 hours after it's presented at London Fashion Week, taking place this week. In addition, luxury brands from LVMH to Kering are putting more resources into e-commerce as they court young customers, developing websites for their brands or partnering with other retailers. What's interesting here is that Chanel, famed for its tweed suits and quilted leather handbags, has been an outlier in the industry push to move more shopping online by deciding not to roll out web sales of its clothing and leather goods. It looks like it's changing its position.