Magazines Dive Into the Retail Industry

Moda Operandi


A look at Moda Operandi.

Brick and mortar shops and print magazines used to live exclusively there: in brick and mortar and in print. This is no longer the case.

“There are no boundaries anymore,” Howard Socol, the former Barneys New York CEO told the New York Times, in a piece that examines the changing relationships of commerce and editorial. Magazines today are increasingly diving into the e-commerce world with partnerships or their own sale ventures, blurring the lines between them even further.

GQ works with Park & Bond, a new men’s retail site from Gilt Groupe. Vogue works with Moda Operandi, a website that sells fresh-from-the-runway creations started by Lauren Santo Domingo—a Vogue contributing editor. Esquire is launching to sell editors’ picks by way of a scan-able quarterly insert in the magazine.

“What magazines have always done is to create desire in consumers,” said David Granger, Esquire’s editor in chief. “The next logical step is to fulfill that desire by selling the product. If we don’t do it, somebody else is going to.”

The Times reports that the commissions they make from the sales can help make up for the drop in advertising revenues in the last several years—though presenting the sales as products that magazine editors believe in (rather than products hawked as part of advertising deals) can be tricky to navigate.

“There’s competition for everything,” Socol told the Times. “But it is kind of interesting if you are a store, because you’re advertising in a magazine that is competing with you.”

It’s hard to imagine Vogue’s e-commerce ventures causing an iconic store like Barneys to take a hit—but it was also hard once to imagine internet companies pinching advertising from the glossies.

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that everything’s changing. The good news for consumers? Shopping opportunities are literally everywhere. What are you waiting for?

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