Condé Nast will launch a global e-commerce business in the autumn with the mission to sell merchandise to consumers, including readers and users of its magazines and websites such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and Gentlemen’s Quarterly.
The e-commerce venture will be branded Style.com, a name currently used by a fashion news website also owned by Condé Nast. It will debut in Great Britain, to be followed by the United States and eventually other major markets around the world. Users will be able to order merchandise from magazine-branded websites and digitised magazine editions in app form, as well as the Style.com website itself. Technology will also enable readers to place orders by scanning many of the images appearing in the printed magazines.
The current Style.com reports fashion news and is known for its runway reportage. Users who seek this information will be redirected to voguerunway.com, on the American Vogue website.
Condé Nast publishes more than 140 magazines around the world in 29 markets ranging from the United States to Europe to Asia, including China, and has more than 120 websites. In addition to the market-leading fashion magazines Vogue, published in 20 markets, and GQ, present in 21, Condé Nast produces multiple-market native-language editions of the brands Vanity Fair, Glamour, Architectural Digest or AD, Condé Nast Traveller, Wired and a number of other titles. Style.com will target the audience of these powerful brands as well as seeking customers outside its magazine and website reader and user base.
“The audience of our magazines and websites around the globe comes to more than 300 million, a huge base of support with whom we already have an active relationship. It can be considered the top five per cent of the world’s adult population. Our potential customer base is far higher than any fashion e-commerce business currently operating and will give Style.com an enormous advantage over its competitors,” said Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International.
The president of Style.com is Franck Zayan, who operates the company out of offices in London situated close to Regent’s Park. Zayan, whose previous role was head of e-commerce for the Paris department store Galeries Lafayette, said the response to the business concept from potential customers has been extremely positive. Style.com is targeting fashion brands as well as upmarket brands from other sectors such as beauty, travel services and technology. Style.com is expected to begin by offering between 100 to 200 brands, with the number growing as the business expands in sales and geographical market reach.
“The signed contracts are starting to come in. Every week we sign up another five to 10 brands, and the momentum is increasing,” Zayan said.
“Fashion companies and other upscale brands understand the authority of our magazines and websites, and their unique ability to connect them to potential buyers. Style.com will take these relationships to new a new level, taking advantage of our existing customer database. It will provide a great user experience for consumers, employing the most state-of-the-art technology, and build sales for the brands.”
While owned by Condé Nast, Style.com will be operated as a stand-alone unit under the joint supervision of the US and International divisions of the global media company.