WEDDINGCHANNEL.COM BUYS IVCE

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — WeddingChannel.com, a pure-play registry that’s survived nearly four years — with assists from some heavyweight investors — has acquired Independent Visions Couture Exposition, a biannual bridal show, in the first of several moves contemplated by the dot-com to provide services for offline bridal businesses, WWD has learned.
“We felt this was the dominant bridal couture show, the one with the largest number of bridal shops out there,” said Adam Berger, WeddingChannel’s president and chief executive officer, of the deal, for undisclosed terms, between the privately held, Los Angeles-based dot-com and IVCE, whose fall show starts in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion Saturday and concludes May 1. As a result of the alliance, users of WeddingChannel.com will be able to view digital photos of 500 styles from 60 of the 160 registered IVCE exhibitors, such as Givenchy, just one week after the show, rather than the month it formerly took to produce the pictures.
“The question for us is how to become the best partner in those areas,” Berger noted. “We looked at the shows in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Chicago, but we liked [IVCE president] Ilene Shack’s show the best.”
WeddingChannel went live in July 1997, and is funded in part by Amazon.com and Federated Department Stores, its two largest investors, respectively, and by WWD parent Advance Publications. Berger did not specify the stakes but noted Federated holds between 10 percent and 20 percent, and that Advance took “a minority interest” in the venture last summer.