DUBAI: For German luxury e-tailer Mytheresa, the Middle East remains an important market. Aside from already hosting two events in the region this year — one in Riyadh and one in Dubai — Mytheresa also partnered with Saudi influencer Nojoud Al-Rumaihi for its 2023 Ramadan campaign.
Arab News spoke to CEO Michael Kliger to understand Mytheresa’s plans for Saudi Arabia and how the luxury e-tailer continues to be one of the most prominent in the world.
“The Middle East is an important region, with Saudi being the largest market. It has overtaken the UAE, which was not the case three years ago — it’s quite remarkable,” he said.
Kliger added that while Saudi clients continue to order to apartments in Europe, there is a significant increase in domestic demand, too. “I was in Riyadh in January, and it’s clear that the government plans on making the infrastructure in terms of hospitality and retail as good as what the Saudi client is used to when they go to France or Italy — so it’s very exciting. It’s a very fashionable region.”
Mytheresa aims to increase its presence locally through more ground staff (personal shoppers), local PR and events. Kliger feels that face-to-face interaction is essential to understand clients’ needs better.
What started as a standalone multi-brand boutique in Munich in 1987, Mytheresa is now one of the most prominent players in luxury e-commerce and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in January 2021.
Mytheresa’s unique business model has shown financial strength during tough times like the pandemic and economic downturns. In February 2023, Vogue Business reported the e-tailer to be more profitable than competitors like Matchesfashion and Farfetch. Kliger believes that Mytheresa’s tightly curated edit and focus on wardrobe-building customers vs. the occasional luxury shopper is key.
“We only have 250 brands in the womenswear category compared to other platforms with thousands. Our role is to inspire, and inspiration doesn’t come without curation. If you’re looking for a floral dress and see 2,000 dresses, you’re not inspired; you’re put off.
“Instead, if you’re shown 160 floral dresses that our buyers believe are the best, it’s more convenient,” Kliger said, adding that the wardrobe-building customer keeps returning to shop with Mytheresa.
“That customer lives a luxury lifestyle and buys many times a year. If you win that customer, they keep returning, which ties to profitability. If you have a customer that only buys one product and doesn’t return, you won’t make money in e-commerce.”
Kliger said that 95 percent of Mytheresa’s revenue comes from customers who started shopping with the e-tailer in 2015.
Last year, the platform added a new category, “Life,” to its range, where customers can shop luxury lifestyle products, including home decor, travel and pet accessories.
“Home and lifestyle is an interesting category – and home is even more overwhelming. For example, if you’re looking for a nice vase, there are so many out there. Here, we have a website that says ‘look, we’ve found 60 of the nicest vases for you.’ So the element of curation in home again is very relevant.”
The platform also thrives on exclusive capsule collections with designers, which Kliger says do especially well in the Middle East. “We have many of those products you can only find on Mytheresa and nowhere else in the world,” he added.