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Mytheresa's results reflect online luxury's sales growth

Illustration of a hand holding gold shopping bags.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Mytheresa, the Munich-based online luxury retailer, reported Q1 results Tuesday, with gross merchandise value (GMV) increasing nearly 21% to almost €198 million and net sales growing more than 11% to about €176 million.

Why it matters: It reflects how online luxury sales overall are growing in the double digits, compared with e-commerce, which increased 6.8% year over year in the U.S. during Q2, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Luxury brands were more hesitant to embrace digital, leading to lower online penetration versus other categories.

By the numbers: While GMV and net sales grew, Mytheresa said adjusted EBITDA declined about 17% to €11.6 million from €14 million in the same period a year ago.

The big picture: The retailer forecast GMV to grow 16% to 22% in its current fiscal year and net sales to grow 10% to 16% year over year.

Details: Mytheresa is growing its business by developing relationships with the kind of consumer CEO Michael Kliger coins a "wardrobe builder," he tells Axios.

  • The ideal customer is a professional with an active lifestyle, a busy work schedule and a social calendar filled with events for which they need clothing. Because they're so busy, they shop with Mytheresa as a time-saving convenience, he says.

Between the lines: To differentiate itself from other e-commerce players in the luxury space, Mytheresa developed in-house an algorithm-based recognition tool, Kliger says.

Yes, and: Selling luxury goods online should be approached as though it's a hospitality business, similar to a hotel, Kliger says.

  • The technology needs to "work like a charm," he says, from checkout to delivery to returns.
  • Via media content, Mytheresa adds an emotional layer on top of that to connect with the customer to compensate for the lack of tactile experience that they get in a physical store.

What's next: The CEO is optimistic about the coming holiday season, with no signs so far of a slowdown in luxury sales online, he says.

  • Kliger also sees an opportunity to expand Mytheresa's marketplace to encompass "anything a luxury shopper entertains," including travel and cars, for example, without taking on the risk of inventory.
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