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TAKE THAT, GOOGLE: Jack Griffin’s name has become synonymous with the phrase “new revenue stream.” And just a few months into his new gig at Time Inc., the chief executive officer now has one under his belt at InStyle with the launch of StyleFind, the first stand-alone shopping site to launch from a magazine. The fashion and beauty site, which makes its debut today, will live under the shopping channel on instyle.com, but it will be run by a new crop of editors hired by InStyle. It features 150 retailers — including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Net-a-porter, Gap, J. Crew, Mulberry, Topshop and Mango — and more than 2,000 brands that managing editor, Ariel Foxman, said are consistent with InStyle. “It will be like shopping with one of our magazine editors,” said Foxman. “The experience is edited and the search function actually works. If you search for bags with a chain, you will actually see that, but in different price points and brands.”
Fran Hauser, president of digital for Time Inc. Style & Entertainment Group, said StyleFind evolved out of qualitative and quantitative research that found shoppers are overwhelmed by the amount of choices in their online shopping experience. (Perhaps a vague dig at Google’s new shopping search function, Boutiques.com?) But there isn’t altruism at play here — it’s about money.
“This is also providing a new revenue stream, since the site’s main revenue share comes from advertising now,” noted Hauser.
Time Inc. will get an undisclosed cut of every transaction on StyleFind (although it will also launch with a sponsor, L’Oréal USA). Hauser added the technology for StyleFind will be extended to other Time Inc. brands in the near future, including Real Simple, People, Essence, Entertainment Weekly and People Stylewatch. So look out for yet more shopping sites over the next six months. Time Inc., shopping mall? — Amy Wicks