Farfetch, Once-Iconic Fashion Marketplace, Sold To “South Korea’s Amazon”
— Updated on 20 December 2023

Farfetch, Once-Iconic Fashion Marketplace, Sold To “South Korea’s Amazon”

— Updated on 20 December 2023
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

Far from the euphoric highs of the US$25 billion (AU$37 billion) market capitalisation, it achieved just two years prior, Farfetch — touted, for over a decade, as “the global platform for luxury” — sold to Coupang yesterday, to the comparatively modest tune of around US$500 million (AU$740 million).

Veteran fashion journalists have described the development as a “lifeline” for the online fashion marketplace; which has weathered a succession of setbacks since last December, when the company held its first Capital Markets Day since listing circa 2018.

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Farfetch’s share price fell more than 35% shortly thereafter, with experts attributing negative market sentiment to uncontrolled cash burn and a range of convoluted “non-core acquisitions.”

Now, as part of a “pre-pack administration” deal (in which businesses are sold before the intervention of company liquidators) Korean firm Coupang has agreed to inject half a billion into Farfetch; following the beleaguered fashion platform’s attempts to enlist aid from Richemont Group and Alibaba — both unsuccessfully.

A vast, publicly listed entity primarily operating in South Korea — where it presides over video streaming, delivery services and the country’s largest online marketplace — Coupang entered into negotiations to acquire Farfetch relatively late in the picture.

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Bom Kim, the company’s Founder & CEO, stated he saw “tremendous opportunities to redefine the customer experience” for Farfetch’s end-consumers and retail partners.

Interestingly, one of the primary conditions of the deal has been Farfetch’s removal from the NYSE and subsequent re-privatisation. This, in theory, would put the company’s diverse portfolio of assets at Coupang’s disposal. At the time of writing, this includes: London retailer Browns, a US$200 million (AU$295 million) stake in Neiman Marcus, and the controversial sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods.

Farfetch Coupang
Randy Lai
WORDS by
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].

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