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NEW YORK -- The merged luxury group Yoox Net-A-Porter Group is aiming to be as mobile as its shoppers.

Since the two joined last year, CEO Federico Marchetti has invested in new technology, added services like seaplanes to drop off rush orders to the Hamptons, and plans to expand same-day services in key markets like Dubai. Now the world's largest online luxury retailer, the company has started a television shopping app with Apple TV and is making a big push into the Middle East and China.

"One of my biggest objectives is to transform the company into a mobile-only company," Marchetti, formerly CEO of Milan-based Yoox, said. "It's a new luxury conglomerate of the digital era."

Marchetti expects business from smartphones and tablets will account for three-quarters of total sales by the end of 2020. Right now, it's less than half. And these shoppers spend big. Its 2.6 million customers plop down an average $366 per order.

The global luxury business has become increasingly competitive online. Neiman Marcus bought MyTheresa, a fashion e-commerce site last year, while Saks Fifth Avenue is offering more services for its online shoppers. And sites like renttherunway.com let customers rent designer outfits.

But Yoox Net-A-Porter is optimistic. It's laid out plans that call for net revenue growth of 17 percent to 20 percent every year through 2020. That's much higher than the 2 percent to 3 percent global luxury growth forecast from consulting firm Bain & Co. through that same year.

Yoox Net-A-Porter, which delivers to customers in more than 180 countries, generated sales of $1.88 billion in the fiscal year that ended in December. Marchetti says its so-called EIPs -- Extremely Important People --make up about 2 percent of its customer base but account for more than a third of annual revenue.

Marchetti says Yoox and London-based Net-A-Porter, both founded in 2000, are complementary. He organized the company into three separate businesses -- current season, under Net-A-Porter and the men's brand Mr. Porter; offseason, which is under The Outnet and Yoox businesses; and online flagship sites that include Giorgio Armani and Jimmy Choo.

Marchetti is investing in technology that will improve customer service and delivery speed. The company is adding same-day service in Dubai, Tokyo and Milan, beyond London, Hong Kong, New York, and Long Island's Hamptons.

It's also fine-tuning or starting new apps. It launched an app for Yoox.com that features a new text search allowing shoppers to better find the half a million products available. The Mr. Porter site has an app that allows Apple TV users to use their iPhones or iPads to buy merchandise that appears in videos that are in its weekly digital magazine. And it's opening a new tech hub in London next year to accelerate its move in mobile shopping.

SundayMonday Business on 10/31/2016

Print Headline: Luxury retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter expands mobile, same-day services

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