YNAP opens new London tech hub amid £440m investment strategy

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Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) plans to hire more than 100 IT experts over the coming two years as it invests in a state-of-the-art UK tech hub.

The new building, designed by Eden Project architect Nicholas Grimshaw, will bring together British IT teams from the two companies, which merged two years ago.

Set to open in London’s White City, the new building will house 650 IT experts, up from the 500 currently employed in the UK.

It has also partnered with Imperial College London in an effort to encourage more females into IT after it has difficulty hiring female experts.

This comes as YNAP announces plans to invest more than £440 million in technology warehouses and delivery systems in the UK amid a push to double the size of the business by 2020.

YNAP’s ambitious plans could come to fruition as the company rides the wave of growing luxury and online sales in the UK, now standing as the world’s largest online fashion retailer.

“This is the first example of the luxury industry making such a big investment in tech,” YNAP chief executive Federico Marchetti said.

READ MORE: YNAP sales skyrocket as it demonstrates “superiority” over market

“We have 1,000 engineers in London and Bologna. That’s something that no luxury brand in the world can have. We are the perfect merger of luxury and tech, that’s why we are serving the brands so well.

“Over the past 17 years we have expanded by always thinking about our customers. The easiest way to do it is if employees of the company mirror the customers.

“More than 60% of our customers are women and I think it is important that employees are women as they understand better the needs of other women.”

The new tech hub will seek to develop artificial intelligence to aid YNAP’s personal shopper service, develop a new wave of tech for its ever-increasing mobile shoppers, alongside new augmented reality software allowing customers to try on hand bags and sunglasses.

Marchetti has emphasised the company’s drive to allow customers to try on items and return them easily, aiming to launch its You Try, We Wait service in full this September, which sees uniformed butlers hand delivering a handpicked selection of clothes to high paying buyers, and waiting for them to return unwanted items.

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