French Luxury Group LVMH to Launch New e-Commerce Platform

Luxury goods group LVMH is set to launch a new digital platform to host all of its brands, as the French company steps up efforts to capitalize on the luxury and fashion sectors' online sales boom. Following reports in March, the conglomerate has confirmed the new site, which will be operated in connection with its Paris-based department store, Le Bon Marche. The site will feature more than 150 luxury labels when it opens in June. 

24 Sèvres, after the address of the storied Left Bank department store, the e-commerce site will ship from France to more than 75 countries, and according to Bloomberg, "its initial focus will be on womenswear and 68 brands will contribute exclusive products for the launch."

The internet has become the industry's most important growth engine, with analysts expecting online transactions to represent 20 percent of all luxury sales within a decade, up from 7-8 percent now, per Reuters, and LVMH cannot afford to miss out. The Paris-based group's online sales of 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) last year equated to 5.3 percent of group revenue, with only select companies under its umbrella offering goods online. Paris-based Celine, for instance, has shunned e-commerce entirely to date. 

"This platform should boost the visibility of the various LVMH brands," which include Louis Vuitton, Celine, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Pucci, among others, sources said in March, adding that the site will also promote luxury goods brands that fall outside of the LVMH umbrella. 

Leading the initiative is former Apple executive Ian Rogers, who was brought on board in 2015 to spearhead digital strategy for the conglomerate. It is LVMH’s first major e-commerce project since Rogers' appointment and also its first foray back into the digital space since it discontinued sales on ELuxury.com - a multi-brand e-commerce platform - it launched in 2000. That venture, which lasted until 2009 before being shuttered, was, according to Bloomberg, "an early pioneer of luxury e-commerce, but fizzled as brands pulled out in favor of selling through their own online flagships." 

Incorporating features like "video chats with Parisian stylists," the new site represents a careful selection from a broad range of luxury brands, Rogers told Bloomberg. “Anything you want is already online. Consumers are looking for curators. We are building a trusted collection.”