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Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

If there was ever a sign that the world of online fashion has grown up it came this past month with luxury fashion retailers Yoox and Net-A-Porter announcing their merger.

There is no other way of describing this bit of corporate activity other than transformational. Not only for the parties directly involved but also for the fashion sector as a whole.

Digital has crept up the agenda to the point that it is now very much in the driving seat. The Yoox/Net-A-Porter deal is very instructive in highlighting the way that digital commerce is playing an ever-bigger role in the luxury fashion sector.

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The combined group creates the largest luxury fashion store – with an unrivalled mix of brands available across the business. The pair together will account for 15% of the global online luxury market.

This is some achievement when it is not really that long ago that the naysayers did not believe luxury goods could be sold online at all. Consider that today it is growing at 15-25% per annum compared with 5% for online retail as a whole.

Despite this backdrop there are still many players in the industry that remain unconvinced. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. But change might finally be afoot. Chanel for one has just announced it will start up an e-commerce operation next year.

As the combined Yoox/Net-A-Porter entity begins to look to consolidate its position it really should be no wonder that such luxury brands like Chanel that have been hesitant to commit to the online channel are re-considering their stance.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider

K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands.