When fashion journalist Natalie Massenet found she could not buy current designer fashion on the internet, she set up NET-A-PORTER.com, an online luxury fashion boutique. Founded in London in 2000, the company has received a total investment of £9.7m from friends and private investors, and has convinced the world’s most desirable fashion brands – including Fendi, Miu Miu and Jimmy Choo – to work with its website. NET-A-PORTER.com claims that customers spend an average of £475 per order, with 3,000 new customers buying from the website every month. Exports fuelled sales growth of 92% a year from £3m in January 2003 to £21.3m in January 2006. The company recently launched an American distribution centre.
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