9/10/13

Yoox Group and Hearst Corp. team up to advance ShopBazaar.com

ShopBazaar is the 1-year-old e-retail site run by Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Allison Enright , Editor

ShopBazaar.com, the 1-year-old e-commerce site that markets and sells high-end apparel and accessories selected by the editors of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, has a new primary retail and fulfillment partner, Italian e-retailer Yoox Group. Yoox Group’s e-commerce sites Thecorner.com and Shoescribe.com will source and fulfill most of the products sold on ShopBazaar.com. The entire transaction takes place on ShopBazaar.com, and revenue is shared between Harper’s Bazaar and Yoox.

Saks Direct, the e-commerce division of Saks Fifth Avenue, was ShopBazaar’s previous primary retail and fulfillment provider. The agreement between Saks and Harper’s Bazaar concluded in June. Anne Welch, Harper’s Bazaar’s associate publisher, says the deal between Saks and Harper’s Bazaar was always intended to last one year only. “We couldn’t have asked for a better launch partner than Saks,” she says. Hearst Corp. is the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar.

Welch says Yoox Group matches ShopBazaar’s own size and growth plans better than did Saks. “We were—and still are—a tiny but growing business. Saks is a multi-million dollar global business that will always have much bigger initiatives on their roadmap,” Welch says. Internet Retailer estimates Saks Direct generated $899 million in online sales last year. Saks is No. 37 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, which ranks North American retailers by web sales. Hudson’s Bay Co., the Toronto-based company that owns the web and retail store brands Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, announced in July that it will acquire Saks in an all-cash transaction worth $2.9 billion. “With Yoox, we look forward to a collaboration where the playing field is a bit more even,” Welch says.

Yoox bringing its fashion e-commerce site TheCorner.com to the U.S. market also makes the partnership a good fit, she says. “TheCorner.com is establishing its foothold in the United States where the Bazaar brand can help with our various distribution channels.”

Yoox Group, No. 195 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide, divides its businesses into what it calls its multi-brand line, which includes company-owned e-commerce sites Yoox.com, TheCorner.com and Shoescribe.com, and its mono-brand line, which includes the set up and management of luxury retail sites for brands such as Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Sergio Rossi. Yoox reported last month that its multi-brand sites generated 148.8 million euros (US$197.2 million) in sales globally during the first half of 2013, up 23.4% from 120.6 million euros (US $159.8 million) in the first half of 2012. Sales from its multi-brand sites accounted for 72% of global sales in the first half of 2013. Yoox is also No. 80 in the Top 400 Europe.

Harper’s Bazaar has more than doubled the number of products in each issue that are denoted with a “B” icon, which indicates to readers that the product is available for purchase on ShopBazaar.com. Harper’s Bazaar publisher Carol Smith told Internet Retailer earlier this year that 74% of ShopBazaar.com traffic lands on the pages of products denoted with Bs in the magazine. The September issue featured 141 such products, up from 70 that were so marked in the March issue.

Harper’s Bazaar has also doubled the number of products available on ShopBazaar.com, from about 1,000 this spring to 2,000 now. Welch says it will add another 1,000 in the next 30 days and aims to exceed 4,000 within six months. She says having access to the assortment of high-fashion products available through Yoox will help ShopBazaar accomplish that.

Topics:

Anne Welch, Carol Smith, editorial and e-commerce, fashion, Harper’s Bazaar, Hearst, magazines, online shoe sales, Saks Direct, Shoescribe.com, ShopBazaar.com, TheCorner.com, Top 500, Yoox Group

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