Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — As part of’s transformation into the e-commerce site for all Estee Lauder brands, the current site will shut down around July 26.
“We came to the conclusion that it doesn’t make sense for us to keep the site up and running while we develop the new site,” explained Angela Kapp, vice president and general manager of Estee Lauder Cos. Online. “We were dedicating a lot of resources in production and engineering to maintaining the site. As a result, we weren’t getting the time we needed to think strategically.”, which Lauder bought in April, has been up and running since September 1999. The site currently sells more than 100 brands, including Michael Jordan, Escada, Peter Thomas Roth, Philosophy and Ramy Beauty Therapy.
Vendors on the site have already been notified, and customers and registered users will be notified by e-mail. “We’re going to be replacing the existing site with a page that will let everybody know the site is closed for renovation and that they are welcome to shop our sister sites,” said Kapp.
Links will lead customers to the sites of those Lauder brands that have e-commerce — Clinique, Origins and Bobbi Brown. MAC is scheduled to go live July 19, and the Estee Lauder brand, which already has a site, will add e-commerce in mid-September, noted Kapp.
The new incarnation of will most likely launch in February. “We’re trying to build something that is global and that does what we really set out to do,” Kapp explained. “In the long term scheme of things, I’d rather be up after holiday and have the right thing launch.”
According to two vendors, members of the e-tailer’s team told them that the new site would feature as many as a dozen non-Lauder brands. Kapp, however, said that decision has yet to be made.
“It is something we’re considering,” she said. “We’ve asked Gloss to make some recommendations about that, and the group is in the process of talking to all of the vendors. The goal is simply to build the best beauty site around.”
In other news, Richard Dickson, vice president of merchandising, is leaving to join Mattel as a senior vice president. There, he will manage the licensing of Barbie worldwide and work on the development of the Barbie Web site and e-commerce business.

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