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Publishers become retailers in the market for survival

E-commerce is becoming a way for many magazines and newspapers to prop up falling ad revenues.

Take Condé Nast, which has just launched Style.com, an e-commerce business that’s arguably one of its most significant ventures. Glossy-looking and featuring high-end designer products such as a Paul Smith bomber jacket, Condé Nast has pumped £75m into the e-tail business and hired fashion heavyweights to run it. Fashion fans can shop across the site while those browsing Condé Nast properties such as Vogue.co.uk and GQ.co.uk will be directed to products they’ve just read about.

Unlike many retailers, Condé Nast isn’t holding any stock though – the fulfilment is handled by the individual brands – but they do, of course, take a cut of the transaction.

Others publishers have a different strategy. Take women’s title Marie Claire, which has partnered with Ocado to launch Fabled by Marie Claire, a physical store located in central London and an e-tail offer selling over 12,000 beauty and wellness products from brands such as Chanel, Clinique and Yves Saint Laurent.

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