MILAN - Luxury group Richemont's digital chief, Geoffroy Lefebvre, will become chief executive of the group's online retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) in January, replacing the platform's founder Federico Marchetti. Marchetti, who is widely regarded in the industry as pioneer in the sale of top-end fashion and luxury goods on the internet, will stay on as YNAP chairman to ensure a smooth transition, YNAP said on Monday. Online sales have become crucial for retailers during this year's lockdowns linked to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many high-end labels, which used to be more reticent to sell their products on the web, to double up on their Internet strategy. E-commerce is set to become the leading channel for luxury purchases by 2025, according to consultancy Bain. Marchetti founded online retailer Yoox in 2000, then listed it and pushed through a merger with rival Net-a-Porter fifteen years later, before agreeing to a takeover by Cartier owner Richemont in 2018 which valued YNAP at 5.3 billion euros ($6.35 billion). Lefebvre, currently Group Digital Distribution Director at Richemont, will take the helm on Jan. 4. ($1 = 0.8345 euros) REUTERS
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