MyTheresa CEO: “In the world of luxury, you have two types of customers”

MyTheresa, the Munich-based luxury retailer, did €750 million in gross merchandise value last year, the company’s CEO recently shared on a podcast.

While still smaller than competitors such as Net a Porter or US-based department store chain Neiman Marcus, that figure makes them an important player in the international luxury market and represents a significant milestone for a fast-growing company.

CEO Michael Kliger shared further insights in his interview with Fashion Network editor-in-chief Godfrey Deeny, explaining how MyTheresa buying decisions are driven by a mixture of art and science.

“We use data in many different places, but I have to clearly say, we also use intuition and experience,” he explained. “When our buyers come into a showroom, 80% of what is in the showroom was not there last season. And so while AI can support them, I fully rely on our buying team, not on data.”

Kliger also shared his thinking on the two types of customers found in luxury.

“There’s one type that we may call the aspirational or one-time customer. They love this one bag, they love this one pair of sneakers, and it’s the one luxury item they buy in a year,” he said.

“The other end of the spectrum, there are wardrobe builders. They live a lifestyle which has them buy luxury constantly, for their vacation, for their office, for their festivities,” Kliger continued, explaining that wardrobe builders are the focus for MyTheresa.

“This type of [wardrobe-builder] customer has ongoing luxury needs, and this ongoing luxury need makes them high-spending.”

“We solve for time,” Kliger explained, outlining what he sees as MyTheresa’s core offer for these busy and affluent fashion consumers.

“Our customers are working professionals. They realize, Tuesday night at 10, ‘Oh my god, I have this thing coming up on Saturday.’ And that is an increasing need, there are more and more customers that live that lifestyle.”

Kliger, who joined MyTheresa in 2015 after stints at Accenture and eBay, also shared that MyTheresa continues to own 80% of the inventory on its platform and that he “doesn’t believe” in the marketplace model.

“You have to combat complexity,” Kliger added, explaining why the site has chosen to stay focused on working with a small number of highly desirable designer brands. “The secret sauce is this customer focus.”

Article credits

Image sourced from MyTheresa’s Instagram profile.

Researched and written by QVDN staff.