As part of its efforts to push into the Middle East market, luxury online shopping brand Yoox Net-a-Porter has sold its 100 million-euro stake to Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties.
Alabbar, who also runs the world’s biggest luxury shopping mall, The Dubai Mall, bought the stake through his own investment vehicle, Alabbar Enterprises. The share sale comes a year after the Italian online fashion retailer Yoox bought its upmarket rival Net-a-Porter. Six months after that particular deal with Yoox, Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet (she launched it in 2000) quit as chairman – shocking the online retail world in the process.
“The world’s biggest online retailer is joining forces with the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer,” said Federico Marchetti, chief executive of Yoox Net-a-Porter.
“I sincerely admire Mr Alabbar for his forward-thinking and relentless drive to innovate, a vision that has led to the creation of the world’s biggest mall. His track record in delivering exclusive luxury and retail experiences across the Middle East will provide us with invaluable insights in the fast-growing regional luxury fashion market,” added Marchetti, praising Alabbar’s entrepreneurial spirit.
With the reduction in of Russian tourism and unstable oil prices, sales of luxury goods in the Middle East flattened in 2015, yet Yoox Net-a-Porter and Alabbar are positive about the latest venture, stating they are keen to expand into the Middle East market with the region already accounting for five per cent of global luxury consumption.
Emirati businessman, Alabbar, who is also the founder of Singapore-based marketer, distributor and retailer RSH, which has over 70 international fashion and lifestyle brands and 700 outlets, is positive about his new venture.
Alabbar said: “I am pleased with the opportunity to invest in and support Yoox Net-A-Porter, the leader in online luxury retail. With an unrivalled product offering and superior customer experience, I look forward to collaborating with the management team and board, as the group further expands within the region.”
Images: Getty and Net-A-Porter