Jonathan Newhouse really had no choice. Neither did the magazine business. People are just spending too damn much time online, and the people whose business it is to make beaucoups of bucks running what were once called magazines are racing to figure out how to fill in the revenue from all those missing ad pages. (Unless they’re spinning them off altogether like Time-Warner did this week to Time Magazine.) But Conde Nast, maybe in recognition of the deeper pockets of the fashion conscious, has lashed up with Farfetch.com, a four year old e-commerce “curator,” as Jose Neves, the no doubt hugely smiling founder describes his site.
This is not without peril. Perhaps. I mean, what about the old “Church and State” arguments? (Well, you can see how far that took Time Magazine…) But, then again, it kind of makes sense too. Interesting content that’s linked to, but not endorsing, interesting buying experiences — it is really just the logical extension of the tried and true retail saw, “retail as theater.” Except that it’s in the online space. With all its gnarly, sneaky metrics and all its free returns and all its overnight shipping from anywhere to anywhere. So, read a little, shop a little. It should be noted, Mr. Neves told the New York Times that since launch, 150,000 people shopped its 82,000 products from 140 countries, and SPENT AN AVERAGE OF $680 PER ORDER.
Is Groupon paying attention?
Or, to paraphrase, “interestinger and interestinger.”