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Style.com – Condé Nast’s costly gamble

As the greatly hyped online platform Style.com ceases trading after just nine months, we investigate why it failed and how the new partnership with Farfetch is likely to fare.

Condé Nast’s ecommerce platform Style.com has shut up shop and been absorbed by Farfetch, in a partnership the companies say will create “a seamless luxury shopping journey from world authority fashion inspiration to purchase gratification”.

It marks the end of a very short chapter for Condé Nast, in which the publisher of VogueGQ and Vanity Fair sought to diversify its revenue sources in the face of declining print advertising spend. Style.com, originally the home of all Condé Nast’s catwalk coverage, relaunched as an ecommerce site in September 2016 after a year of delays, but it failed to make an impression on consumers.

“I don’t believe their original model was sustainable, primarily because it was really a glorified affiliate programme,” Martin Newman, chairman at retail consultancy Practicology, told Drapers. “They never really owned the customer, as all orders were dispatched directly by the brands.”

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