Mytheresa delivered impressive metrics in the first quarter of 2023, with 20.8% growth in gross merchandise value to €197.9 million compared to €163.9 million in the prior year period, and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 6.6%. The digital retailer confirmed the full-year 2023 forecast for gross merchandise value growth of 16% to 22% with a stable adjusted EBITDA margin of 9% to 9.5%. And, as consumers with pockets of all sizes feel pressured by higher gas prices and inflation, Mytheresa is targeting its core customers, a group whose fortunes remain largely unshaken.
Michael Kliger, CEO of Mytheresa, said the company is committed to these customers and providing them with extraordinary service and experiences. “Just last week, we launched a Christian Louboutin pet line, had a Renowa luggage exclusive for a while, and went even further into China,” Kliger told me.
Mytheresa announced a Chinese designer program. “We will launch exclusive collections for select Chinese designers,” said Kliger. “The product will be ready for next spring. We will celebrate the launch with a dual event in Paris and Shanghai. It really is to show other parts of the world that there is also good luxury design in China.”
There is demand in China and the US, where the country continues to deliver above-average GMV growth of 28% in the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2022. “We will continue to drive our market presence and expand our local team , and continue to have events there,” Kliger said. “Last week I was in New York and we had a celebration with Oscar de la Renta.”
Gross profit margin in the first quarter of 2023 increased to 49.9% compared to 49% in the first quarter of 2022. Mytheresa continued to focus on the full price business and increased the share of CPM, its platform model curated, generating 100% gross profit with no cost of sales. Seven brands are now active compared to one brand in the first quarter of last year.
Net sales increased €18.1 million, or 11.4% year-on-year, to €175.9 million, due to the planned transition of brands to CPM and the after effect of recording the platform fee as sales net.
“Our business has shown strength in tough economic times,” Kliger said. “We believe Mytherea is a truly differentiated business with a unique customer focus, exceptional business model and operational excellence.”
In the three months ending September 30, 2022, Mytheresa saw a 27.7% increase in the number of high-quality customers, which is what the company calls its highest spending customers. There was a 6.5 percent increase in average spend among all customers compared to the first quarter of 2022, however, the company’s occasional consumers fell back. There was an increase of 13.4% in active clients, reaching 800,000 consumers.
Mytheresa is also developing its product categories. The company introduced a lifestyle segment, and Kliger said, “We are working on category expansions for next year. We are obviously looking at categories like art, jewelry and watches, everything that is first and foremost luxury. Now that we’ve started this lifestyle [segment] We’ll see how far it can go. At the moment, we have chairs and side tables. It is always what the client allows us to do”.
Mytheresa stays close to major clients by organizing events like the Oscar de la Renta meeting. Forty clients were invited to meet Laura Kim and Fernando García, the co-designers of the brand. “We have an event next week with Balmain and Olivier Rousteing in Paris,” Kliger said. “The final event will be for Pucci in St. Moritz with creative director Camille [Miceli]. We stand out so much compared to other platforms, that we have our own creative directors, and that is a dream come true for our clients.”
A key factor explaining why Mytheresa customers shop online is lack of time, Kliger said. Mytheresa solves the time deficit problem and is a convenience for customers. Personal shoppers make things easier for customers by getting to know them and what they want.
“When they get together, we host a lunch or go to a party, but in the end this type of consumer is more looking for efficiency,” Kliger said. “We have some clients who never come to events. They say: ‘I don’t have time, but I love personal shopping.’ Send me a WhatsApp message. Works for me. There is a lot of messaging, instant messaging or in Europe, Whatsapp.
“Our clients are mostly people in whom wealth was created in this generation,” Kliger continued. “It is not inherited wealth. We don’t serve the wives of rich husbands, we serve rich women. And they don’t have time to go to boutiques. That’s not what they are. And for this reason, our personal shoppers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is the expectation. They can have a question at 10 p.m.
“Hardly anyone says they have more time than they did 10 years ago,” Kliger added. “Everyone thinks they have less time. They feel that today they have less time than before, so time is very valuable. For the best customers, time is more valuable. Time is currency for these clients.”
The luxury sector is a success story in resilience. Twenty or 30 years ago, there was a question of whether luxury would survive because it was so mired in the context of the red carpet and benefit galas, Kliger said. “Today, luxury is beachwear, sportswear and casual wear, so luxury has taken on a much broader lifestyle. It allows the younger generation, who says, “I don’t need a tuxedo, but I like to wear nice clothes.” [to participate.] Luxury opened it up and did not stay in an old-fashioned lifestyle.”
Opening a physical store is not on Kliger’s to-do list. “I have great respect for what can go wrong,” he said, adding that he says ‘yes’ to temporary tents. “A popup is great because part of our business is understanding our customers’ moods and moods,” she added. “Are you thinking about work, are you thinking about vacation? Popups are great because there’s a perfect time for a popup in Aspen, and there’s a perfect time for a popup in Miami Beach, and there’s a perfect time for a popup in St. Barths.
“Pop-up windows are much more flexible,” Kliger said. “We’ve done pop-ups in Miami and the Hamptons. It gives us a physical presence, a point of physical contact, but it is not a permanent operation. In a funny way, the first quarter earnings have confirmed a lot of what we’ve been saying, that luxury is much more isolated, it’s a different customer. And luxury is global. In these difficult times, we have seen growth on all three major continents, Europe, the US and China/Asia.”