Fraser Group Shutters Matchesfashion

The latest blow to the luxury e-commerce sector.

Fashion 
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In the midst of some restructuring, Frasers Group has decided to shutter luxury e-commerce retailer MATCHESFASHION. The Business of Fashion reported that the group acquired the struggling e-tailer for $66.6 million USD just two months ago. In a statement from Frasers Group they said,

“Whilst Matches’ management team has tried to find a way to stabilise the business, it has become clear that too much change would be required to restructure it, and the continued funding requirements would be far in excess of amounts that the Group considers to be viable.

In light of this, Frasers has been informed that the directors of Matches have taken the decision to put the Matches group into administration. Frasers remains committed to the luxury market and its brand partners.”

The Matches brick and mortar store was founded in London by Tom and Ruth Chapman in the late 1980s and has been in a staple amongst British fashion retailers for many years. The company once had a great selection of up and coming brands, and was the go-to retailer for emerging labels both homegrown and international. Since opening its e-commerce site in 2007, it has faced a bevy of rivals including Net-A-Porter and Farfetch. When it first started, the brand carried over 500 high luxury brands including Balenciaga and Gucci. Matches was acquired by private equity firm Apax Partners in 2017 and saw a revamp in its backend operations in a multi-million dollar investment to the site. Unfortunately, those initiatives did little to improve the company’ standing post-COVID, with sales dropping hundreds of millions of GBPs year-to-year.

When Frasers Group bought MATCHESFASHION — which was rebranded to Matches late last year — the group wanted to increase their position in the luxury market through the e-tailer. However, many brands cut ties with Matches after not receiving payments for months. The lack of payments caused relationships with key brands to sour, making Matches unable to provide an upscale shopping experience for its consumers. Matches is not the only London-based e-retailer struggling in this climate. Rival Farfetch has narrowed bankruptcy and has been recently acquired by South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang.

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