Fashion news website Style.com will abandon its editorial focus by becoming the new ecommerce outlet for Condé Nast this autumn. The website, which boasts 3.3 million unique visitors and 210 million page views, will be transformed into an online store aimed at readers of Vanity Fair, Vogue and GQ – spelling the end of its news and events coverage.
Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend and Jonathan Newhouse, Condé Nast International’s chief executive and chairman, confirmed the new-look site will showcase merchandise from upscale brands in the fashion, beauty, technology and travel sectors.
It will be the first platform of its type for the magazine publisher, with the model set to expand to the US and other nations following its domestic launch. Newhouse said that Condé Nast’s international readership, which totals more than 300 million, forms "a huge base of support" for the re-focused Style.com.
"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," he explained.
Franck Zayan – Condé Nast International’s ecommerce president – will oversee the re-launch of Style.com, which will be operationally independent despite being owned by the London-based publisher.
With the launch just months away, it’s understood that leading brands are already signing up to the commercially minded Style.com platform.
"Fashion companies and other upscale brands understand the authority of our magazines and websites and their unique ability to connect them to potential buyers," Zayan commented.
Style.com will take these relationships to 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.
The shift is one that should appeal to publishers from other sectors, too. The scale of the commercial opportunity for brands that have successfully built online communities by serving them high-quality content is vast, with plenty of scope for publishers to test out new product or service-based models on a loyal and receptive audience base.