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Marie Claire and Ocado unveil their new retail business: Fabled

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It’s been in the offing for months, and today Marie Claire and Ocado put a name to their new joint venture: Fabled by Marie Claire.

Details of the new retail venture, first announced in February, are now emerging, as Marie Claire publisher Time Inc announced today that the new multichannel retailer would open a West End store and launch online at in early August.

Fabled will focus on beauty and wellness, stocking niche and premium brands from Estée Lauder to Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay.

“An increasingly confident generation of women are looking for new ways to explore and express themselves through beauty which is why we are hugely excited by the launch of Our ambition is to inspire consumers with this fresh and unique approach to the beauty retail marketplace, which perfectly combines the unparalleled brand authority and influence of Marie Claire with the ecommerce expertise of Ocado,” said Amanda Scott, managing director of Fabled.

Just as retailers have brought together commerce and content in recent years, employing editors, journalists and bloggers to help market their wares, so publishers have moved towards selling products. Grazia has its own ecommerce shop, while Condé Nast has an ecommerce division that plans to build on the popularity of titles from Vogue to GQ.

The tie-up between Marie Claire and Ocado is arguably the most high profile to be realised so far. The two partners bring very different things to it. Marie Claire brings its name, along with the editorial content in which readers are so interested. Marie Claire beauty editor Sam Dean will curate the business, which will be led by managing director Amanda Scott.

Marie Claire says its experience will give it an edge. “We speak to thousands of women every day at Marie Claire and have done for the past 27 years, so we are uniquely placed to understand and anticipate their changing needs,” said Justine Southall, Marie Claire’s managing director in the fashion and beauty division of at Time Inc. “ provides women with an online beauty destination they know they can trust and we look forward to seeing the response we get from them.”

Ocado, meanwhile, will bring the customer experience. It promises to offer one-hour delivery time slots, seven days a week. That adds up to a “proposition [that] is designed to fit into the fast-paced lives of beauty-savvy women everywhere – so no more waiting around for your next beauty fix.”

The new business also brings a first for Ocado in the form of a bricks and mortar store. Fabled will open on Tottenham Court Walk, London W1 in August, stocking brands including Chanel, Benefit, YSL, Clinique, Elemis and Lancôme, and promises expert advice in what is billed as a “beauty haven of proudcts.”

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