Zoom, the fashion portal and internet fulfilment company, will today launch a service for retailers wishing to go online, covering everything from website design through to ordering, delivery and customer service.
It has signed up Actif Group, an Aim-traded company that owns the rights to Elle merchandise in Europe, as its first big customer. Under the terms of the three year contract, Zoom will manage all of its online operation as well as giving the Elle brand exposure on its shopping portal – which has 13m page impressions a month.
Zoom, set up in June last year, is 50 per cent owned by the Arcadia retail group and 50 per cent by Associated Newspapers.
It is one of a number of companies offering third-party fulfilment services having built up scale and experience from dealing with Arcadia’s brands, which include Top Shop and Racing Green.
But Eva Pascoe, Zoom’s managing director, said the service was different from most others. ” Others can only offer fulfilment but not customers. They are only technology enablers, we are also bringing customers from our Zoom shopping site,” she said.
Orders can be made through computers, mobile phones or interactive television. Zoom says it can take any brand online within about eight weeks.
Martin Lent, Actif Group chief executive, said: “We are taking a pragmatic view of the best way of getting to the public. The amount you have to invest to do it properly means you have to be a pretty specialist business.”
More than Dollars 1bn (Pounds 600m) of Elle women’s clothing and accessories is sold each year, with about Dollars 120m in Europe. But it has so far had no meaningful internet offering in Europe, selling instead through catalogues and retail outlets.
Financial Times (London, England)
July 11, 2000
Author: THOROLD BARKER