Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — With scads of magazines trying to come up with ways to sell merchandise from their pages, Marie Claire has hit on a new approach — something of an exclusive shopping club.
Teaming up with Bloomingdale’s and InternetPlus, developers of Web-free e-commerce solutions, Marie Claire plans to offer its readers a CD-ROM in its October issue that will feature a wide selection of Bloomingdale’s merchandise with the magazine’s stamp of approval, and will give readers an opportunity to order it online.
InternetPlus’s new product — Marie Claire StyleSource Only @ Bloomingdale’s — uses a CD-ROM that provides graphics, video and sound to consumers, as well as a way to browse offline. Then, using a computer modem to dial into a private network, shoppers can complete transactions and receive news on products, pricing, availability and shipping — with online “flash” sessions that update the information from the server each time the program connects. Consumers don’t need an Internet Service Provider to participate.
Bloomingdale’s, which will provide merchandising direction, fulfillment and service support, will reap the revenues from all sales.
Marie Claire will distribute some 1.3 million copies of the CD-ROM via newsstand and subscription copies, and the magazine will carry a sticker that says “Free Fashion CD-ROM Inside.”
Katherine Rizzuto, publisher of Marie Claire, said the CD-ROM features Marie Claire editors talking about trends, information about the products, interviews and the latest fashions. She said readers can shop by category or by brand. Each vendor gets two spinning images — 360-degree views — enabling close-ups.
The CD-ROM features 47 vendors, 21 of which are Marie Claire advertisers.
Among the advertisers are Ellen Tracy, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Sigrid Olsen, Anne Klein, Michael Stars, Bisou-Bisou, BCBG, Dooney & Bourke, Via Spiga, Me Too, Buffalo, Eileen Fisher, M-A-G, Jessica McClintock, Maxx and Carolee. Lancome is the exclusive beauty advertiser.
Each of the advertisers will have enhanced exposure on the CD-ROM and will be part of a special insert in the October Marie Claire. The promotion will also be supported by a TV ad campaign, media tour, direct mail campaign and in-store kiosks, said Rizzuto.
According to Rizzuto, Bloomingdale’s developed an approved list of vendors, with input from Marie Claire’s editorial staff. The Bloomingdale’s buyer made a separate “StyleSource buy.” The site will carry more than 470 stockkeeping units.
Rizzuto said clothing will be shipped to customers in seven business days. Fullfillment will be handled by the Bloomingdale’s by Mail division.
Sandra Seroy, senior vice president of marketing for InternetPlus, said, “For us, Marie Claire is a perfect partner. They were able to use all our technology.”
Seroy noted that InternetPlus, based in Napa, Calif., uses a patent-pending technology that delivers fast interactions, rich graphics and greater security than Web sites and is free of cyber delays, clutter and fraud. She said it’s especially advantageous for luxury and high-end merchandise.
Asked the advantage of having a consumer view a CD-ROM with fashion, rather than go directly to a retailer’s Web site, Donna Cristina, partner in Dente & Cristina, which developed the graphics and visuals for the CD-ROM, said, “It has the editorial overlay of Marie Claire. It’s more fun, has a protected environment, and Marie Claire is a magazine that’s all about shopping.”

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