Mytheresa CEO and President Michael Kliger at Milan’s Bar Basso | Photo: German Larkin
The Munich-based luxury e-commerce site, which plans to float an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MYTE on Thursday, priced the 15.6 million shares it plans to sell at higher than the original $16 to $18 range, indicating strong investor demand. Online sales of luxury goods rose in 2020 as the pandemic drove wealthy shoppers to the web.
Competitor Farfetch’s stock soared over the past year, and many luxury brands say sales have fully rebounded after dipping early in the year. Mytheresa hopes to stand apart in a crowded online luxury space with a differentiated point of view and unique product selection, taking advantage of a public market that has shown enthusiasm for IPOs, from Airbnb to DoorDash, in recent months. Online reseller Poshmark’s shares jumped in the hours after its January debut.
However, some analysts warn that Mytheresa may face challenges as it competes with several heavily funded players. Bernstein’s Luca Solca, a leading luxury analyst, noted that, at present, Mytheresa’s customer acquisition costs are more than three times those of Farfetch, while its assortment is much smaller. It’s also just simply not as well known as Farfetch or Net-a-Porter, which is owned by Swiss luxury group Richemont. Farfetch’s other advantage is its recently announced joint venture with Alibaba and Richemont in China.
“Whether differentiation will represent enough of a barrier to entry and create a profitable niche is a point of debate,” Solca said. “It is not obvious that there is a viable and profitable competitive space for a differentiated multi-brand digital retailer.”
Read BoF’s case study on Farfetch’s bid to dominate luxury e-commerce here.