A new Marie Claire beauty business is set to sell online and through shops.
Marie Claire UK, part of the Time Inc group, will launch the business in partnership with Ocado.
The deal will see the Marie Claire-branded ecommerce business, led by managing director Amanda Scott, currently head of buying for beauty and accessories at John Lewis, run from Marie Claire’s central London offices. Scott will work closely with Marie Claire publishing director Justine Southall.
Marie Claire’s partner in the move is Ocado subsidiary Speciality Stores.
Justine Southall said: “This launch will be the perfect combination of content provider, consumer and commerce. Marie Claire’s brand authority, Amanda’s talent and the world-leading technology, logistics and ecommerce expertise of Ocado means I couldn’t be more excited about the potential of this launch.”
Amanda Scott said: “Marie Claire has extensive knowledge and influence in the world of beauty that is widely respected; the trust consumers have in this brand gives it natural leverage to move into retail, particularly within this category. Together with the multi-million pound investment and backing of Ocado, this partnership will combine to provide the consumer with a unique proposition and a seamless customer experience.”s
Jackie Newcombe, managing director of Time Inc. UK’s luxury brands, said:
“Time Inc. UK’s strategy is to harness the incredible trust that consumers have in our brands and to offer new products and services to fulfil their needs. Marie Claire’s influence in the beauty sector is unparalleled, both with consumers and beauty companies, and especially now that the way that women are buying beauty products is changing rapidly. Our beauty proposition will reflect those changes and we will offer outstanding service, thanks to the partnership with Ocado, who have expertise in this area without equal.”
Ocado said today that it expected start-up costs for the new website would come in at between £2m and £3m in 2015.
“We believe that the high quality of service delivered by our technology and logistics platform, combined with the awareness and relevance of the Marie Claire brand will make this an attractive shopping destination for customers,” said Ocado in its annual results.
James Matthews, commercial director of Speciality Stores, said: “We are really excited by the partnership with Marie Claire, and collectively we are confident we can bring something fresh and unique to the beauty retail marketplace which will inspire customers.”
The move comes after last year Grazia launched its own ecommerce website after buying an existing fashion site.
It also comes months after Condé Nast ecommerce president Franck Zayan spoke at Internet Retailing Conference 2014 about its plans to launch transactional sites for magazine brands such as Vogue and GQ in 2015. At the time, he said publishing companies had been trying to find a way to bridge the gap between content and commerce but no solution had yet been found.
“What Condé Nast has decided recently is to really make that connection with product by building a commerce division,” he said, adding: “Bringing commerce closer to everything you see in the Condé Nast magazines makes perfect sense because that’s what customers expect. They’re really asking for it, they want it.”