The French luxury conglomerate PPR and Yoox have announced the signing of their long-awaited agreement to set up and manage several international online stores for PPR's luxury brands, starting with those of Sergio Rossi and Bottega Veneta by the end of this year.

Under the agreement, PPR and Yoox will set up a joint venture in which the French group will have a 51 percent stake and the e-tailer the remaining 49 percent, in charge of managing the stores for the brands Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi. All of them will have their online stores on stream by the end of 2013.

Like the other collective and mono-brand stores of Yoox.com, the new joint e-commerce platform will have a global reach, covering some 100 different countries including China. Other PPR brands could be involved in the joint venture at a later stage. Each brand will have control over the online store and will decide the product assortment, the editorial content, art direction and digital communication.

The joint venture will be consolidated in PPR's accounts and will pay Yoox for its services based on a percentage of the revenues. After seven years, the two partners will have the right to buy back each other's shares.

Yoox already operates 34 other mono-brand online stores, including those of Bally, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani and Giuseppe Zanotti. It recently started up mono-brand stores for some other fashion brands, but it will put an end to those it operates for Miss Sixty and Energie after next month. They represented only about 1.5 percent of its sales. It will also deactivate the zeishouse.com website of Zeis Excelsa to concentrate on its Bikkembergs brand.

Yoox also launched a new mobile version of its 12-year-old multi-brand yoox.com website earlier this year, improving the use of touchscreen devices and adding new functions such as full-screen zooming and access to the site's “Dream Box.” A mobile application of its new online store for footwear, shoescribe.com, was launched last month.

For the second quarter of this year, ended on June 30, Yoox has reported a 33.1 percent increase in consolidated revenues to €81.9 million. However, the gross margin fell to 35.6 percent from 39.1 percent one year ago. The operating margin declined to 1.7 percent from 3.7 percent in the year-ago period because of investments in the automation of its techno-logistics platform, which started up in the third quarter of 2011, and other investments in technological innovation and consolidation. The net profit for the period was thus reduced to €338,000 from the level of €1,259 million reached one year ago.

Yoox generated 84 percent of its total net revenues of €172.9 million from outside Italy during the first half of this year, with other European countries taking up a share of 47.8 percent, North America 21.6 percent and Japan 8.5 percent. Japan recorded the biggest growth – up by 74.4 percent from a year ago – while North America and the rest of Europe went up by 47.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively.

The mono-brand business represented 30.3 percent of the revenues, up from 25.5 percent a year ago. Yoox recorded an average of 12.5 million unique visitors per month during the period, up from 9.2 million in the same period of 2011, and it ended up with a total of 871,000 active customers who placed 1,073,000 orders from its numerous websites.