Richemont’s e-commerce strategy bore impressive results in the five months to end-August as the company continued to reposition itself for changing consumer habits. The world’s second-largest luxury goods company reported a 25% increase in sales on constant exchange rates (22% at actual exchange rates), benefiting mostly from its operations in the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Isolating the contribution of newly acquired online retailers Yoox-Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) and Watchfinder.co.uk, Richemont’s sales increased 10% at constant exchange rates and 7% at actual exchange rates. The two online distributors contributed €720m to the group’s total sales. Luxury brands have been reluctant to sell online, with some saying that a digital platform cannot provide the exclusive service that their customers have become accustomed to in boutiques. Most of them refused to work with Amazon just two years ago. In the Richemont stable the Cartier brand has, however, always been a...

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