French luxury group LVMH to launch new e-commerce platform -sources

PARIS, March 9 (Reuters) - Luxury goods group LVMH will set up a new digital platform to host all of its brands, sources close to the matter told Reuters, as the French company steps up efforts to capitalise on the sector’s online sales boom.

The Internet has become the industry’s most important growth engine, with analysts expecting online transactions to represent 20 percent of all luxury sales within a decade, up from 7-8 percent now. LVMH’s online sales of 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) last year equated to 5.3 percent of group revenue.

“This platform should boost the visibility of the various LVMH brands,” one of the sources said, adding that the site would also promote other luxury goods brands not owned by LVMH, which is controlled by French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

Leading the initiative will be former Apple executive Ian Rogers, hired by Arnault in 2015 to spearhead digital strategy at the world’s biggest luxury goods group.

The company’s new e-commerce site is due to go live in a few months’ time, the sources said.

LVMH declined to comment.

The group has already sought to tap into the increasing importance to the industry of online social media platforms by setting up LVMH Luxury Ventures last month to invest in start-up luxury goods projects. ($1 = 0.9470 euros)

Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Dominique Vidalon and David Goodman