LONDON — The British edition of Marie Claire has put a name to its first retail venture and unveiled the look of its web site. Launching in August, the enterprise will be called Fabled by Marie Claire and was described as a “unique beauty and wellness destination” in a statement from Time Inc. U.K. (the magazine’s publisher), which partnered with Specialty Stores Ltd., a subsidiary of Ocado Group, for the project.
Fabled by Marie Claire will operate through its own e-commerce web site and brick-and-mortar store, selling premium and niche brands, including Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Nars and Perricone MD, as well as content from a dedicated editorial team.
The brick-and-mortar store will be at Tottenham Court Walk, a new shopping and leisure development on Tottenham Court Road that is a part of the regeneration that some pockets of London have experienced as part of the construction of the Crossrail rail line, set to open in 2018. High-street retailer Oasis and bookstore Waterstones have already taken up residence. Designed by GPStudio, the store will stock brands such as Chanel, Benefit, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Elemis and Lancôme.
Fabled managing director Amanda Scott, the former head of buying for beauty and accessories at John Lewis, said the partnership would bring together Marie Claire’s brand authority with Ocado’s e-commerce “expertise,” offering a “seamless” customer experience to online customers, who will be able to have online purchases delivered within a choice of one-hour time slots, seven days a week — a proposition already well-executed by Ocado.
Justine Southall, managing director of fashion and beauty at Marie Claire, said the title’s coverage of beauty “brings tremendous opportunity beyond the pages of our magazine.” Time Inc. U.K. claims Marie Claire publishes more beauty editorial pages than other U.K. fashion titles, including Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.
Market-research firm Mintel predicts that beauty e-commerce sales will be worth upward of one billion pounds, or $1.58 billion, by 2018. Jackie Newcombe, then-managing director of Time Inc. U.K.’s luxury brands, told WWD in June 2015 that revenue streams from advertising and from the new e-commerce business would be separate. “The advertising conversation is one thing, and the supplier conversation is another,” she said, adding that the e-commerce venture wouldn’t affect the magazine’s editorial integrity.
This is the second step into the world of retail for Time Inc., which last spring launched the WallpaperSTORE* in partnership with Level Group, selling a selection of objects for the home and office and travel, as well as one-off products by designers, craftsmen and companies commissioned for the title’s annual Handmade exhibition and issue.