Chanel to launch augmented retail experience with Farfetch

This new augmented retail experience by Chanel and Farfetch marks the first of its kind to launch in the luxury fashion industry.
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Set to trailblaze an entirely new retail experience to its patrons, Chanel has just announced an exclusive global multi-year Innovation Partnership with leading e-commerce platform Farfetch.

An initiative that sees both companies working together to create a unique augmented retail concept that will deliver an unparalleled customer experience both offline and online, in-store and out-of-store for Chanel.

With that said, Chanel will not be selling its ready-to-wear and handbags online. Right now, it will maintain its exclusivity for its core products and only have its beauty and eyewear collections available for e-commerce.

"We are not starting to sell Chanel on the Farfetch marketplace — I want to be very clear on that" – Bruno Pavlovsky

On the new initiative, Fashion President of Chanel, Bruno Pavlovsky says, "We are not starting to sell Chanel on the Farfetch marketplace — I want to be very clear on that. Our position on e-commerce is the same. We want to connect our customers with our product and our boutiques are the best way to do so. We are very consistent in our strategy, but we are using Farfetch’s know-how to accelerate this."

Dubbed to be the fashion "unicorn", Farfetch has been a pioneer in merging online and offline retail including the "Store to Door in 90 Minutes" with Gucci.

For the initial phase of the venture, founder of Farfetch José Neves says that they are "hoping to change the shape of retail, and improve a customer experience which is currently stuck in the nineties." 

“It will mean a client from Shanghai, who spends $2m a year in a boutique there, will be able to go into a store in Los Angeles and have the staff know who they are, what they want, and the sizes they need. It might mean also, if they are a high net client, they can arrange, if they want, to have a fitting arranged.” 

He continues saying, "Fashion cannot be totally digitised. Between 75-80 percent of fashion sales are still undertaken in bricks-and-mortar stores. And that won’t change.

"The store still offers an experience you cannot get online: the relationship with the staff; the story; the touch and feel of the products. But what needs to change is the way stores interact with clients."

Officially named "Augmented Retail", this venture merges the beauty of brick-and-mortar retail with the convenience of personalised interaction and information sharing of digital platforms.

Marking the first of its kind in the luxury fashion market, the partnership also sees Chanel investing in Farfetch, joining its existing shareholders.

The "Augmented Retail" concept is set to roll out in one of Chanel's boutiques in France later this year.



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