Condé Nast has shut down Style.com, the publisher’s short-lived fashion e-commerce experiment, the company announced on Tuesday.
Condé Nast, owner of magazine brands such as Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair, announced plans in 2015 to transform Style.com into an online retail platform selling a variety of luxury fashion, tech, and beauty products. The site had previously been used as an online catalog of fashion critiques and photo galleries from runway shows culled from various Condé Nast titles The revamped Style.com debuted in the U.S. in September, roughly nine months before it would eventually shut down after Condé Nast invested more than $100 million into the e-commerce project, The New York Times reported.
In a statement to Style.com’s staff, according to the Times, Condé Nast chairman Jonathan Newhouse said: “Sadly, the results of the business have fallen very far short of where we hoped they would be.” Newhouse added that the company explored other alternatives for the site before deciding to shut it down.
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Style.com notably delayed its U.S. launch by several months last year and the site’s eventual debut was met with some criticism in the media, as the apparent absence of major luxury brands like Burberry and Chloé as sellers seemed to make it unlikely that the platform could compete in the crowded online luxury retail market. On Tuesday, the Times cited “poor sales” on the site, as well as a “staff exodus” (after Style.com made several high-profile hires from the luxury fashion world), as reasons behind Condé Nast’s relatively quick decision to shut down the site.
Condé Nast announced a new “content and commerce” partnership with Farfetch that will allow customers to visit Farfetch to shop for products highlighted in the publisher’s editorial brands. Much of the fashion industry coverage and photo galleries formerly housed on Style.com had already been folded into the Vogue site VogueRunway.com.
Style.com’s shuttering is a reflection of the increasingly difficult environment for magazine publishers, many of which are constantly looking for new business opportunities to bring in additional revenue streams amid industry-wide struggles to deal with disappearing ad spending. Rival publishers like Hearst and Time Inc. have also made the push into e-commerce in attempts to leverage the household names of their magazine brands and generate additional revenue. (Note: Time Inc. is the parent company of Fortune magazine.)