Death Of Retail? 2017 Was All About The Empire Of Luxury E-Tail

by MR Magazine Staff

At first glance, Lauren Santo Domingo may not strike you as an empire builder. A former Vogue editor and glossy blond socialite, she is married to the heir of a Colombian beer fortune and has a slew of “It girl” friends. She could appear easy to dismiss. But this week Moda Operandi, the online high fashion website she and Aslaug Magnusdottir founded in 2011 as the first “pre-tailer” (a place where customers can pre-order looks immediately after runway shows), announced that it had raised $165 million in its latest round of funding. As the “death of retail” is heralded as the biggest trend of 2017, boutiques shutter and rumors fly of possible department store bankruptcies driven by changing consumer habits, price wars and the threat of Amazon. High-end e-commerce remains a bright spot in the shopping landscape: flooded with more cash than ever before and with bubblelike sky-high valuations to boot. “What is so exciting about the amount of money we were able to raise is that we have proved ourselves and our model on a global scale. Year-on-year sales are growing at an exponential rate,” said the Moda Operandi chief executive, Deborah Nicodemus, who has worked with Ms. Santo Domingo since 2013. Their latest investment round was led by Apax Partners, the private equity firm that bought a controlling stake in the rival e-commerce outfit in September. Read more at The New York Times.