MILAN, April 19 (Reuters) - Luxury online retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) said on Wednesday it would open a dedicated section for the sale of high-end jewellery and watches on one of its websites, expecting to reach 100 million euros ($124 million) in revenues by 2020.
YNAP is consolidating its position in hard luxury - expensive necklaces, rings and watches -, counting on its high-spending client base at a time when jewellery is one of the fastest growing categories in the luxury sector.
The move comes after Cartier-owner Richemont announced a bid in January for full control of the online retailer, saying it would further expand YNAP's business and develop web sales of its own brands, which include pen and accessories maker Montblanc and watchmaker Baume & Mercier.
The platform plans to do more in jewellery and high-end watches after the Richemont takeover, a source close to YNAP said in January.
"This explosion in fine jewellery and watches shows there's no limit to what customers will buy online with us," Chief Executive Federico Marchetti said in a statement.
In 2017, global sales of jewellery rose 10 percent to 17 billion euros, according to consultancy Bain.
Marchetti added the potential for online sales of the category was huge, and sales of jewellery were seen at 100 million euros by 2020.
The statement said the section would be part of Net-a-Porter, one of the four websites and several online flagship stores the group manages, and that it would include 40 different brands, including Piaget and Cartier as well as Italy's Pomellato and Buccellati.
Earlier this month, another of YNAP's websites - Mr Porter - launched a partnership with Cartier for the sale of one of the jeweller's most popular watches.
YNAP started broadening its product range to include expensive watches and jewellery in 2013, with the sale of high-end watches. The most expensive piece to be sold is a 113,000 pounds ($160,350) limited-edition Panthere de Cartier watch.
($1 = 0.8086 euros)
$1 = 0.7047 pounds Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Mark Potter