Farfetch, the e-commerce giant, has just acquired the U.K.-based department store Browns, according to a release from the company. However, it’s not simply your average takeover — per the statement Farfetch issued, the move is part of “a long-term plan to develop a global technology platform that will shape the retail experience of the future.” (No word on what that future will be like, but can we assume it involves robots?)
With Browns Focus, its section dedicated to emerging designers, Browns has always been ahead of the curve — Meadham Kirchhoff and Hussein Chalayan were both spotlighted there in their early days. But Farfetch wants to bring it further into the vanguard. Said Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves in a statement,”The vision is to answer the question ‘How will people shop for luxury fashion 5 or 10 years into the future?’ This won’t be purely online. The answer, we believe, will be a seamless merge of a fantastic physical experience with powerful, yet subtle technology. Browns is the perfect partner for this evolution.” Helping to usher Browns into the future will be Holli Rogers, formerly the fashion director of Net-a-Porter. She has been named CEO of the store, which will be run as an independent business from Farfetch.