May 26, 2004, 12:00 AM

Cotton Incorporated to launch cotton products site featuring 85 retailers

After years of running marketing campaigns to support retail sales of products made of cotton, industry trade group Cotton Incorporated plans to show direct results of its efforts through a web site featuring only cotton products.

After years of running promotional campaigns to support retail sales of products made of cotton, industry trade group Cotton Incorporated plans to show direct results of its efforts through a new consumer web site featuring only cotton products from more than 85 retailers, including Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart and specialty apparel and home furnishings merchants.

Cotton Incorporated’s new site, to be called TheJoyofShopping.com, will be the "world’s largest cotton store," Cotton Incorporated president and CEO J. Berrye Worshan says.

The site is due to launch within a month and will operate on the Arkdom Commerce Affiliate platform from Web Commerce Group, says Web Commerce vice president of marketing Scott Anderson. All products featured on the site will contain at least 50% cotton, he adds.

TheJoyofShopping.com will show product images from retailers from among department stores, mass merchants and specialty merchants. Other participating merchants include discount fashion merchant Bluefly.com, Linens ‘n Things, Domestications, SearsHomeCenter.com and MarshallFields.com. Although only products made of at least half cotton can appear on TheJoyofShopping.com, consumers who click on a retailer’s product image will enter the retailer’s own site and be able to continue shopping throughout the merchant’s site without restrictions, Anderson says.

Web Commerce Group takes product catalog data from participating merchants and uploads it to its Arkdom platform to provide links from TheJoyofShopping.com to the participating retailers’ web sites, where all purchases occur through the retailers’ own shopping carts, Anderson says. Web Commerce Group charges one-time set-up fees to retailers to upload their content, though these fees can be waived if Web Commerce can use product catalogs already prepared for other affiliate programs, he adds. In addition, retailers will pay a commission on sales to Web Commerce, which will may use the funds to offset the costs to its clients, he says.

Web Commerce is talking with other brand owners about building additional sites on the Arkdom platform that will provide direct links to retailers that sell their brands, Anderson says.

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