When Farfetch arrived on the shopping scene back in 2008 it dazzled shoppers with its ability to allow them to buy Chanel bags from the comfort of their own home.

The luxury e-commerce site, founded by Portuguese businessman José Neves, has enjoyed rave reviews, with Vogue magazine previously describing it as the “go-to” for hard to find designer pieces.

But in recent years the business has fallen out of fashion with investors and customers alike. Its second quarter results published earlier this year showed that revenues were down $7.3m (£5.75m) to £572.1m (£450m).

Back in August, the firm also shut down its beauty business after just one year in the game, as it struggled to carve out a space in an oversaturated and highly competitive market.

However, the most dramatic revelation came this morning after the group stalled its third quarter update, adding fuel to the fire that Neves is looking to return to the private market after a disastrous US float. 

“The company expects to provide a market update in due course,” a statement from the company read.

“The company will not be providing any forecasts or guidance at this time, and any prior forecasts or guidance should no longer be relied upon.”

The firm was valued a $6.3bn when it initially went public back in 2018, a time when luxury digital fashion sales were booming.

Reports began to surface earlier this week that Neves had the support of major shareholders including Richemont to engineer a take-private after a miserable time on the New York public exchanges, the share price dipping more than 90 per cent on the original offer price.

“Though shares have jumped recently with talk of Jose Neves potentially taking the business private, shares are still heavily discounted vs their initial IPO,” Jonathan De Mello, head of JDM Retail, told City A.M.

“With gross merchandise volume lower than initial projections (seven per cent vs an initially forecast 20 per cent), declining gross margin and high levels of debt, it is clear that much work needs to be done to turn this under-performance around, whether the business remains public – or goes private.”

Cartier owner Richemont, which Neves has a 15 per cent stake in, also said it would not inject any cash into the struggling retailer.

In a statement this morning the group said: “Richemont would like to remind its shareholders that it has no financial obligations towards Farfetch and notes that it does not envisage lending or investing into Farfetch.”

That has combined to send rising shares straight back down again – around 50 per cent today.

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However, it has been rumoured that the financial troubles of Farfetch will hinder plans between the pair for Richemont to sell Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) to the ailing fashion seller.

Last year, Richemont agreed to sell its 47.5 per cent stake in rival designer fashion portal online in exchange for £50m worth of Farfetch sales.

The firm added: “Richemont is carefully monitoring the situation, including reviewing its options in respect of its arrangements with Farfetch announced on 24 August 2022, which remain subject to certain terms and outstanding conditions.”