Farfetch, together with its subsidiaries, operates a global platform for the luxury fashion industry. In addition to revenue, one of Farfetch’s most important financial metrics is gross merchandise value (“GMV”), which the Company defines as the total dollar value of orders processed, inclusive of product value, shipping, and duty, and net of returns, value added taxes, and cancellations. According to Farfetch, the Company’s GMV closely correlates with its revenue.
Farfetch’s largest markets include, inter alia, the United States (“U.S.”) and the People’s Republic of China (“China”). Despite recent softness in those markets, the Company assured investors during the Class Period that, as of the first quarter (“Q1”) of 2023, those markets had either recovered or were recovering and were expected to drive future revenue and GMV growth, particularly in the second quarter (“Q2”) of 2023.
In May 2023, Farfetch announced the commercial launch of its European partnership with footwear and clothing brand Reebok International Limited (“Reebok”). Reebok’s owner, Authentic Brands Group, partnered with Farfetch in 2022 to operate its business in Europe, re-platform its European e-commerce sites, and drive the evolution of the brand by expanding its luxury collaboration offerings globally.
The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Farfetch was experiencing a significant slowdown in growth in the U.S. and China; (ii) Farfetch also faced onboarding challenges impacting the launch of its Reebok partnership; (iii) Farfetch downplayed challenges it faced with respect to, and/or overstated its ability to manage, its supply chain and inventory; (iv) all the foregoing was having a significant negative impact on Farfetch’s revenue and GMV growth; (v) accordingly, Farfetch was unlikely to meet market expectations for its Q2 2023 financial results or its own FY 2023 revenue guidance; and (vi) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On August 17, 2023, Farfetch issued a press release announcing its Q2 2023 financial results. Among other items, Farfetch reported revenue of approximately $572 million, significantly less than the market consensus of $650.71 million. Farfetch also issued an FY 2023 revenue forecast of approximately $2.5 billion, compared to the average analyst estimate of $2.8 billion and the Company’s prior FY 2023 revenue forecast of $2.9 billion.
That same day, Farfetch held a conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the Company’s Q2 2023 results. During that call, Company management disclosed that significant slowdowns in growth in the U.S. and China, onboarding challenges affecting the launch of the Reebok partnership, and issues with inventory and shipping had negatively impacted Farfetch’s revenue and GMV for the quarter, as well forced the Company to rein in expectations for FY 2023.
Then, on August 18, 2023, media outlets reported that multiple analysts had downgraded Farfetch based on its poor Q2 2023 results and disappointing guidance for FY 2023.
Following these developments, Farfetch’s Class A ordinary share price fell $2.15 per share, or 45.17%, to close at $2.61 per share on August 18, 2023.