Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The move represents the latest marriage between editorial and e-retail.
The line between magazines and e-commerce continues to blur with the launch of a new home décor section of the web site of retailer HSN Inc., No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
The web and TV retailer’s new House Beautiful Marketplace features items such as armchairs, table lamps, fringe pillows and area rugs that have earned the recommendations of House Beautiful editors. The interior decorating magazine—also called a ‘shelter’ publication—has a paid and verified circulation of 818,734, according to a December filing, and also operates the informational web site HouseBeautiful.com.
Besides the monthly product selections, the new HSN microsite, HSN.com/HBMarketplace, also will have what the retailer calls exclusive editorial content from the magazine’s editors, including decorating advice.
"The House Beautiful Marketplace further establishes HSN as a go-to destination for compelling design and decor items and we are excited to be partnering with such a well-respected publication," says Chris Nicola, HSN's senior vice president of merchandising—home design and improvements. "The HSN consumer is always looking for unique shopping experiences that delight and entertain, so we know she will appreciate the incredible collection of products we're offering that speak to today's trends."
HSN says it will also make the new marketplace available to consumers via HSN TV and the retailer’s mobile site.
Magazines and e-commerce are increasingly moving closer together, and not only via arrangements like this where editorial experts put their names and brands behind certain products. Last week, for instance, Time Out New York, a magazine that covers events and culture in the Big Apple, launched a digital upgrade that includes a new iPad app, an upgraded iPhone app and a revamped web site that allows consumers to purchase more goods.
That followed the announcement earlier this year by Gilt Groupe Inc., the flash retailer that is No. 49 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, that it would work with a publishing company and magazine distributer to launch a digital and glossy print magazine called Du Jour.
“This partnership is different from other editorial/e-commerce programs in that it is so broad-based,” says Newell Turner, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. “The House Beautiful Marketplace has thousands of SKUs and encompasses a large part of HSN’s total home décor offerings.”