Barely nine months after it launched Style.com, Condé Nast has closed the online e-commerce site into which it is said to have invested $100 million. According to a story in the New York Times, visitors to the website are redirected to Farfetch, an online marketplace for high-end boutiques into for which Conde Nast was an early investor.
"The move is a stunning strategic backtrack by the publishing empire," [said the Times story] "which first announced a multimillion-dollar rebranding of Style.com, formerly the encyclopedic digital home of all Condé Nast runway coverage, in 2015. It also reflects the current turmoil in the glossy magazine industry, which has struggled to adapt to the digital age.
“Our experience with Style.com taught us that content is a powerful driver of commerce, and the combination of great editorial with a great shopping experience creates a great user experience and revenue upside,” said Matt Starker, the general manager of digital strategy at Condé Nast. He acknowledged, however, that the skill sets required to create content and those required to run a seamless shopping site were different.