LuxUp

Yesterday Farfetch.com, the ecommerce site that acts like a portal between global consumers and global independent boutiques, both editing their offerings and connecting either side, announced $20m in new funding, largely from Condé Nast International. A few days before, Luxup, a UK-based ecommerce travel site that aimed to create a “club” of tourists eager for insider shopping experiences, ceased trading. When such things happen in parallel, it’s tempting to try to find lots of lessons in the news.

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Marwyn Management Partners (MMP), the UK-based listed investment and management group, has just doubled down on the luxury market. After starting the on-line HNW members-only shopping deal site Luxup, directed in part at the Chinese tourist market and in part at amassing a mind-boggling amount of information on individuals’ shopping habits, MMP just announced an agreement to acquire le Chameau, the French maker of luxury rubber boots, from current owners Lafuma. Read more

Recently I was talking to James Carsellis, the entrepreneur behind web start-up Luxup, and he mentioned the theory that Europe was becoming a luxury goods Disneyland for emerging market consumers. You know: a place where the entertainment value/point lies in shopping for expensive stuff. I don’t think the comparison is that far-fetched.
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By now we hold these truths to be self-evident: that the extreme resilience of luxury brands in the face of European economic turmoil can be traced largely to the traveling luxury consumer heralding from Asia, Brazil and Russia; that this trend is probably going to continue; and that the smart luxury brand will shift its retail strategy accordingly. What else to make, anyway, of two new initiatives geared specifically toward making money from the phenomenon?

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