YNAP pins hopes on expansion

Italian online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) aims to double sales and boost profits by 2020 as it expands in new markets, including Asia, but says it is still committed to Britain despite the vote to leave the European Union.

The group says it is expanding its London headquarters and hiring several hundred new staff members despite Brexit. About a sixth of its total revenue comes from Britain.

“We believe in this market. We believe in London and we continue to grow here,” says chief executive Federico Marchetti. “We have a very resilient business model thanks to our geographies being global.”

YNAP says it plans to more than double revenues to around 4 billion euros (US$4.4 billion) by 2020. Its growth plans include further expansion in China and the rest of Asia.

It also plans to offer jewellery and watches – Swiss watchmaker Richemont is a major shareholder – targeting sales of 100 million euros by 2020. This is part of a strategy to focus more on premium customers and fast-growing brands, as well as investing heavily in mobile. It says three-quarters of sales are set to come from mobile devices by 2020, from 41 per cent now.

YNAP, a merger of Italy’s Yoox with upmarket rival Net-A-Porter, has its own multi-brand shopping websites but also runs online stores for luxury brands including Armani and Valentino. It added Prada this week.

Finance chief Enrico Cavatorta says he expects synergies from the merger to take full effect from 2018, improving margins, and says the group should be cash positive from 2018.

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