DR. JAY’S TO LAUNCH E-TAIL

Byline: Katherine Bowers

LOS ANGELES — Styleclick Inc. is playing ball with Dr. Jay’s.
Styleclick, the e-commerce enabler that merged with Barry Diller’s USA Networks in August, is expected to announce today it has struck an agreement to relaunch the Dr. Jay’s Web site on Nov. 15, initiating e-commerce at DrJays.com.
The Web services arrangement also calls for Styleclick to handle customer service and fulfill orders of urban sportswear and activewear placed at the new site, according to Bruce Goldstein, executive vice president of business development at Styleclick, which is based here.
Dr. Jay’s, with headquarters in Secaucus, N.J, operates 17 stores in the New York metropolitan area, selling men’s, women’s and children’s active apparel, streetwear, and footwear under brands such as Triple Five Soul, Fubu, Phat Farm, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Polo, Nike and Timberland.
Bill Ryan, vice president of Dr. Jay’s.com, told WWD the site new will employ a clean, modern design in order to appeal to a broad audience.
“Most urban sites are catering to a small niche of people,” Ryan noted, “but urban culture has appeal in all parts of America and Europe. So we are going to be much more accommodating [of that diversity] with the site’s look.” For example, DrJays.com will avoid the dark backgrounds which, he said, can give an “ominous look” to some urban sites.
Goldstein said some rich media elements such as video and music will be added to the site to make it stickier, and that Styleclick will use its personalization technology to make purchasing suggestions to registered users of DrJays-.com, based on their sales history and personal data.
“We’ll even know what’s available in your size, because the worst thing is to recommend something we don’t have” Goldstein added. “It’s not about just coming [online], looking for an item and saying goodbye. Those days are going the way of the dinosaurs.”
Internet observers have projected that e-commerce may someday prove particularly potent for regional specialty chains like Dr. Jay’s. The thinking is that they may be able to leverage their Web presence to create national brand recognition — or at least get a read on potential brick-and-mortar locations — without risking large amounts of money building and staffing such stores.
Indeed, Ryan revealed Dr. Jay’s has considered expanding beyond the New York metropolitan area and will be tracking purchasing patterns nationally and internationally. But for his part, Styleclick’s Goldstein said Dr. Jay’s may have 100 new Internet destinations before it breaks ground on a single new brick-and-mortar store.
For instance, Goldstein said, a Dr. Jay’s e-shop located on a CitySearch portal could offer merchandise from local sporting teams and climate-appropriate styles. “We have the ability to place mini-Dr. Jay’s stores on all sorts of ‘vortals’ [vertical portals] and portals,” Goldstein added. “We’ll be using dynamic merchandising to offer different subsets of product at each [online] store, based on the communities that visit different sites.”

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