MyTheresa Is E-Commerce for Luxury. The Stock Might Be the Cheapest Thing It Sells.
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MyTheresa Is E-Commerce for Luxury. The Stock Might Be the Cheapest Thing It Sells.

Mytheresa, based in Munich, went public in the U.S. in late January, raising about US$350 million for the company.

By Nicholas Jasinski
Mon, Mar 8, 2021 12:52amGrey Clock 4 min

Bricks-and-mortar fashion boutiques have been in a tough spot during the pandemic. Small stores, after all, aren’t set up for social distance. Online retailer Mytheresa has been able to fill the void. The website caters to wealthy shoppers looking for help in finding their next designer handbag, pair of shoes, clothing item, or accessory.

Mytheresa, based in Munich, went public in the U.S. in late January, raising about US$350 million for the company. The listing grew out of the bankruptcy of Neiman Marcus, which purchased Mytheresa in 2014. The small-cap has a market value of about $2.2 billion.

Mytheresa stock (ticker: MYTE)—technically an American depositary share of parent company MYT Netherlands Parent—was recently trading just below its $26 initial-public-offering price after having jumped to $36 shortly after the debut. The stock could recover those losses and more in the coming months.

“They are at the intersection of two higher-than-average growth trends in retail: luxury and e-commerce,” says J.P. Morgan analyst Matthew Boss.

Luxury buyers have been slower to adopt e-commerce. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, some 12% of global luxury sales happened online, compared with a 20% share of overall retail. The gap is closing. A recent study by consultancy Bain estimates that the share of luxury goods sold online could nearly triple to more than 30% by 2025.

Meanwhile, the overall luxury market is growing by about 7% annually.

The tailwinds put Mytheresa in an enviable position, and the company should get a further boost from its expansion in the U.S. and China, which are currently just 10% of sales each. (Europe was 60% in its latest fiscal year.) The company now has collections for men and kids, and it could expand into categories like jewellery and furniture in the future.

Mytheresa isn’t your typical money-losing tech start-up. The company, which reports in euros, earned €6.4 million ($9.9 million) in its latest fiscal year on €449 million in revenue.

Sales have grown an average of 22% over the past two fiscal years, while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or Ebitda, have grown at a 30% clip. For the fiscal year that ends in June, analysts are forecasting revenue growth of 25%, to €560 million. Analysts, who track adjusted earnings, expect the company to make €30.4 million this year, up about 60% from the adjusted figure last year.

“We are dealing with high-net-worth individuals who like to spend money—that’s a great customer base, and our core asset is this customer,” says Mytheresa CEO Michael Kliger.

The customer focus has helped the company earn a consistent profit, with a gross profit margin of about 45% and an adjusted Ebitda margin of about 8%. Other e-commerce players at Mytheresa’s early stage of growth have been years away from turning a profit.

If Amazon.com is the “Everything Store,” Mytheresa has taken the opposite approach. The site carries about 200 brands, fewer than luxury e-commerce rivals Farfetch (FTCH) or Richemont’s (CFRUY) Net-a-Porter. A recent search for “black dress” on Mytheresa’s U.S. site yielded just over 2,000 results, versus more than 7,000 at Farfetch.

Mytheresa’s most loyal shoppers get access to personal shoppers, styling and concierge services, and other perks like invitations to exclusive designer events and parties.

CEO Kliger says there’s a fine balance between presenting products in a way that’s helpful to shoppers and overwhelming them with an endless assortment. His company is focused on curation and more-abstract shopping desires, he tells Barron’s.

Customers looking for a specific Burberry coat, Chloé handbag, or pair of Gucci sneakers are better served buying directly from the designer.

Mytheresa’s website and app, now set up for spring and summer, are currently promoting multibrand compilations including “sandal season” and “talking-point pieces.”

The unique edit, to use the fashion-industry parlance, stands out to customers. Some 90% of Mytheresa customers surveyed by Cowen analyst Oliver Chen said they were likely to recommend the site to a friend, and 75% of them browse it weekly. Nearly 50% of Mytheresa’s customers spend at least $30,000 on luxury goods annually, the survey found.

Investors have been far more stingy when it comes to Mytheresa stock. The shares trade for 2.8 times this year’s estimated sales, versus 8.2 times for Farfetch and 4.5 times for The RealReal (REAL)—both of which are losing money.

Mytheresa could rally as investors reconsider that valuation gap. J.P. Morgan’s Boss has a price target of $38 on the stock, 50% above its recent close.

For now, Mytheresa stock is a luxury play at a bargain price. The sale is unlikely to last.



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A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now

Companies are eager to hire strong players who use hybrid work schedules to schmooze clients on the course

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Jun 14, 2024 5 min

Standout golfers who aren’t quite PGA Tour material now have somewhere else to play professionally: Corporate America.

People who can smash 300-yard drives and sink birdie putts are sought-after hires in finance, consulting, sales and other industries, recruiters say. In the hybrid work era, the business golf outing is back in a big way.

Executive recruiter Shawn Cole says he gets so many requests to find ace golfers that he records candidates’ handicaps, an index based on average number of strokes over par, in the information packets he submits to clients. Golf alone can’t get you a plum job, he says—but not playing could cost you one.

“I know a guy that literally flies around the world in a private jet loaded with French wine, and he golfs and lands hundred-million-dollar deals,” Cole says.

Tee times and networking sessions have long gone hand-in-golf-glove. Despite criticism that doing business on the course undermines diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and the fact that golf clubs haven’t always been open to women and minorities —people who mix golf and work say the outings are one of the last reprieves from 30-minute calendar blocks

Stars like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie West helped expand participation in the sport. Still, just 22% of golfers are nonwhite and 26% are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.

To lure more people, clubs have relaxed rules against mobile-phone use on the course, embracing white-collar professionals who want to entertain clients on the links without disconnecting from the office. It’s no longer taboo to check email from your cart or take a quick call at the halfway turn.

With so much other business conducted virtually, shaking hands on the green and schmoozing over clubhouse beers is now seen as making an extra effort, not slacking off.

Americans played a record 531 million rounds last year. Weekday play has nearly doubled since 2019, with much of the action during business hours , according to research by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom .

“It would’ve been scandalous in 2019 to be having multiple meetings a week on the golf course,” Bloom says. “In 2024, if you’re producing results, no one’s going to see anything wrong with it.”

A financial adviser at a major Wall Street bank who competes on the amateur circuit told me he completes 90% of his tasks by 10 a.m. because he manages long-term investment plans that change infrequently. The rest of his workday often involves golfing with clients and prospects. He’s a member of a private club with a multiyear waiting list, and people jump at the chance to join him on a course they normally can’t access.

There is an art to bringing in business this way. He never initiates shoptalk, telling his playing partners the round is about having fun and getting to know each other. They can’t resist asking about investment strategies by the back nine, he says.

Work hard, play hard

Matt Parziale golfed professionally on minor-league tours for several years, but when his dream of making the big time ended, he had to get a regular job. He became a firefighter, like his dad.

A few years later he won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country, earning spots in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open, where he tied for first among non-pros.

The brush with celebrity brought introductions to business types that Parziale, 35 years old, says he wouldn’t have met otherwise. One connection led to a job with a large insurance broker. In 2022 he jumped to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates in Wellesley, Mass., which recognised his golf game as a tool to help win large accounts.

He rescheduled our interview because he was hosting clients at a private club on Cape Cod, and squeezed me in the next morning, before teeing off with a business group in Newport, R.I.

A short time ago, Parziale couldn’t imagine making a living this way. Now he’s the norm in elite amateur golf circles.

“I look around at the guys at the events I play, and they all have these jobs ,” he says.

His boss, Chief Executive Chip Gibson, says Parziale is good at bringing in business because he puts as much effort into building relationships as honing his game. A golf outing is merely an opportunity to build trust that can eventually lead to a deal, and it’s a misconception that people who golf during work hours don’t work hard, he says.

Barry Allison’s single-digit handicap is an asset in his role as a management consultant at Accenture , where he specialises in travel and hospitality. He splits time between Washington, D.C., and The Villages, Fla., a golf mecca that boasts more than 50 courses.

It can be hard to get to know people in distributed work environments, he says. Go golfing and you’ll learn a lot about someone’s temperament—especially after a bad shot.

“If you see a guy snap a club over his knee, you don’t know what he’s going to snap next,” Allison says.

Special access

On a recent afternoon I was a lunch guest at Brae Burn Country Club, a private enclave outside Boston that was the site of U.S. Golf Association championships won by legends like Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. I parked in the second lot because the first one was full—on a Wednesday.

My host was Cullen Onstott, managing director of the Onstott Group executive search firm and a former collegiate golfer at Fairfield University. He explained one reason companies prize excellent golfers is they can put well-practiced swings on autopilot and devote most of their attention to chitchat.

It’s hard to talk with potential customers about their needs and interests when you’re hunting for errant shots in the woods. It’s also challenging if you show off.

The first hole at Brae Burn is a 318-yard par 4 that slopes down, enabling big hitters like Onstott to reach the putting green in a single stroke. But to stay close to his playing partners and keep the conversation flowing, he sometimes hits a shorter shot.

Having an “in” at an exclusive club can make you a catch. Bo Burch, an executive recruiter in North Carolina, says clubs in his region tend to attract members according to their business sectors. One might be chock-full of real-estate investors while another has potential buyers of industrial manufacturing equipment.

Burch looks for candidates who are members of clubs that align with his clients’ industries, though he stresses that business acumen comes first when filling positions.

Tami McQueen, a former Division I tennis player and current chief marketing officer at Atlanta investment firm BIP Capital, signed up for private golf lessons this year. She had noticed colleagues were wearing polos with course logos and bringing their clubs to work. She wanted in.

McQueen joined business associates on the golf course for the first time in March at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has lowered her handicap to a respectable 26 and says her new skill lends a professional edge.

“To be able to say, ‘I can play with you and we can have those business meetings on the course’ definitely opens a lot more doors,” she says.

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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