LVMH Is Launching A Digital Department Store For Multiple Brands
The luxury conglomerate is revamping a 1984 acquisition into an e-commerce portal
Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, known in the industry as LVMH, is gearing up for its first multi-brand online store. These plans were first outed by Financial Times and, given the backing, will likely become one of the strongest players in luxury ecommerce.
There’s already a brand and name for the website. In 1984, about seven years before the Internet as we know it was born, LVMH acquired the French department store Le Bon Marché. Heralded as the world’s first modern department store, it’s ready to go and it’s fashionably late.
Except in terms of capital value, this ecommerce is hardly a pioneer. Startups have already infiltrated the need for luxury online shopping and many have gained considerable growth. They’ve also been executing landmark moves in the past few months. Yoox has merged with Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus has acquired MyTheresa.com and publishing house Condé Nast opened an ecommerce section in Style.com.
Ecommerce is just a speck in luxury sales; 93 percent of purchases are still offline. According to Deloitte, LVMH keeps the throne in terms of sales volume. With brands like Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, the conglomerate’s portfolio appeals to a wide variety of audience. For ecommerce, LVMH took its time to warm the water before dipping its toes.
The Business of Fashion cites a McKinsey & Company study that predicts luxury commerce is just at the foot of a steeper climb. In 2025, the forecast said, the market may triple to a staggering $74 billion. LVMH has previously hired talent with just the right qualifications for digital sales. In 2015, Ian Roger, Apple Music chief, became the first-ever Chief Digital Officer of LVMH.
While the French conglomerate is still to confirm the news, it will be an interesting time for luxury ecommerce. How can an online store with such a strong foothold on brands fare in the market? At present, brands under the LVMH umbrella (all 70 of them) get to choose their own distribution channels. Will Le Bon Marché – Online challenge luxury ecommerce as it is known now?
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