Luxury brands Gucci and Farfetch have partnered on a new 90-minute delivery service for customers of Gucci products.
Orders can be placed through the Farfetch website and app for fulfillment from Gucci stores in 10 cities, including London, New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Farfetch couriers pick up and then deliver the orders.
Farfetch started as an e-commerce marketplace that offers products from more than 500 independent boutiques, though the 10-year-old company also provides technology solutions to support fellow luxury brands and retailers.
Farfetch appears to be expanding from its role as an online marketplace to also provide retailers with a lot of the technology capabilities we have come to associate with omnichannel transitions, including improved, more flexible fulfillment, analytics and integrated in-store, online and mobile experiences. It sounds a bit like Farfetch is marking out the same territory as Yoox Net-a-Porter, and looking to cater to the same group of luxury of brands and retailers YNAP is serving.
On-demand delivery is by no means a new idea, and we're at the point where we can get all kinds of things delivered on-demand — not just food but jerseys for one of the lousier NFL teams. However, offering 90-minute delivery of luxury goods like Gucci handbags we have to admit is a fresh and surprising idea. It sounds like a possible joke. It certainly made a lot of media folks snicker, and it probably didn't help that the new service was advertised with the following video about "fashion emergencies."
But perhaps this is a situation of brands understanding well what their customers really want. It is also worth wondering if there will be more to the relationship between Farfetch and Gucci than express delivery. As part of its omnichannel technology push, Farfetch has been showcasing a "Store of the Future" concept that involves a lot of other technologies. Could Farfetch help Gucci reshape more of its retail approach as luxury retailers are facing market challenges?