LIFE&STYLE

[Herald interview] Luxury shopping evolves in digital era

By KH디지털2

President of mytheresa.com talks about future of luxury shopping for women’s fashion

  • Published : Mar 24, 2016 - 14:02
  • Updated : Mar 24, 2016 - 17:53
Businesswomen are usually so strapped for time that it is hard to fit shopping into their busy schedules. Furthermore, visiting several stores to track down the perfect trench coat for spring is often a luxury.

Online luxury shopping malls, especially multi-brand stores, cater to the needs of such time-pressed professional women, making shopping convenient for them, said Michal Kliger, president of mytheresa.com, a Munich-based online multi-brand shopping website for luxury women’s fashion.

“Our typical consumer is a professional woman who has a job, probably owning a company, and has children. So she has very little time to shop. But say, in the evening at 10 o’clock, she can spare half an hour and do shopping on an iPhone or on a tablet. It’s convenient,” said Kliger in an interview Monday in Seoul. Kliger was in Seoul to announce the launch of Korean-language services for his website. 

Michael Kliger, president of mytheresa.com, talks during an interview on Monday in Seoul. (Scott Jung)

Kliger said that sales in online luxury shopping remain relatively low compared to online sales of other items such as books and general fashion items, but it has the potential to grow quickly.

“The share of luxury shopping in entire online sales is still less than 10 percent, while many other sectors such as books and others reach 20 percent and higher. I believe online luxury shopping will go up to 20 to 30 percent,” said Kliger.

According to figures from McKinsey and Company, online sales for women’s luxury fashion are expected to grow from the current 3 percent to 17 percent by 2018, out of a total market size of $12 billion.

Mytheresa.com is a luxury shopping platform that offers more than 170 luxury brands, including Chloe, Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Valentino. It focuses on womenswear only. It started out in 1987 as offline multi-brand store Theresa in Munich, Germany, and has since expanded into an online luxury retailer that ships to more than 120 countries. Products are delivered worldwide within 72 hours.

“In European time, every order we receive until 5 p.m. leaves our warehouse that night. The orders are immediately picked up at Munich Airport. In Europe, you get it the next day and in the United States and Korea, it takes two to three days,” said Kliger.

Such fast delivery is possible by housing all company divisions -- including shipping, warehouse and an in-house photo studio -- within its 10,000-square-meter headquarters building in Munich.

The product variety offered on the firm’s online store is expanding rapidly. The company adds some 100 new items daily. It also plans to make available clothes that are showcased at fashion week events as soon as the day after they appear on the runway.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)