PAY PALS: A new fashion e-commerce site is set to launch in London, with a focus on designer and high street labels — as well as an offer for customers to stagger their payments over a three-month period.


Run by founder Sarah Curran and backed by Britain’s Internet shopping titan Shop Direct, will launch in February, offering women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty.


The site will stock collections from brands including Marc by Marc Jacobs, McQ Alexander McQueen, Red Valentino, Carven, Kenzo, See by Chloe, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and J Brand Jeans. Premium high street brands and the higher-end collections of high street retailers such as Reiss will also be sold.


The beauty offer will include brands such as Stila, T3, Bliss, Elemis and Laura Mercier.


The site will launch during London Fashion Week and is aimed at women aged 26 to 35. It will allow customers to spread the cost of their purchases across three monthly, interest-free payments with a feature called Take 3. It will offer an account with a representative APR of 18.9 percent.


The brand’s fashion buying will be headed by Vikki Kavanagh, formerly of Harvey Nichols. Clare Morgan, formerly head of beauty at Harrods, will lead the beauty team on a consultancy basis. Emily London, former London editor of Refinery29, will join as editor-in-chief while style blogger Simon Glazin will be social editor.


Curran is also recruiting for a number of further roles across buying, trading and creative. Once complete, the satellite team for Very Exclusive will be based in Shop Direct’s offices on Pollen Street in London, and supported by the head office in Liverpool.


Shop Direct is a multi-brand digital retailer with annual sales of $2.7 billion. It sells branded and own-label goods ranging from clothing to home and electricals. The business is owned by the billionaire British businessmen and twin brothers Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay.


“We’ll be looking to offer a curated edit, along with our favourite must-have pieces of each collection that will fit perfectly into every woman’s wardrobe,” said Curran, who joined Shop Direct last year to accelerate the development of its luxury strategy.


“As well as offering the option to spread the cost, there’ll also be a keen focus on accessible price points. The site itself will provide a rich editorial experience that will guide women through the season’s collections, trends and key looks,” she added.


Shop Direct’s group retail and strategy director Gareth Jones said that after months of market research and testing, “it’s extremely clear to us that there’s a real appetite to shop a standalone luxury site, and have the option to spread the cost.”

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