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Why would they do this? Everyone is aware the majority of funding for any magazines comes from advertising, a very small percentage is usually derived from subscriptions. So these online shops are potentially another stream of revenue for the publishers. However, I think there is something more to be said for content hubs that choose to sell the products they are meant to be discussing and vice-versa.
Grazia has now launched Graziashops.com and has already appointed a digital media agency to promote the launch, this means they will have to purchase media outside of their own network to promote the launch. I think this may be the first time this has happened. We’ve had online retailers like Net-a-Porter release a magazine but never the opposite.
Does it really matter if the fashion editors at Grazia put a pair of Gucci knee-high boots in a spread over a pair of Aldo’s because they have the product on their site? Not really, people purchase products for different reasons and will ultimately buy a pair of black knee-high boots where the price is right and they look good, regardless of if they were the pair in the magazine. I think as a society we’ve moved past the mindless “X celebrity wore those, so I’m going to wear them” phase, although celebrity endorsements are still very popular and have evolved to blogger endorsements.
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Perhaps the online store is a chance for Grazia to position themselves in a unique spot in the marketplace. If they are top of mind as your go-to magazine, perhaps the store will be your go-to for online shopping. Why? If you trust the voice of Grazia you may trust that same voice to help you decide what to buy, making your decision to purchase that much more justified. Another plus, this could lead to amazing collaborations with designers, models, and actors/actresses who may not have the chance or means to design pieces, but they have a relationship with Grazia who will now have relationships with many fashion houses. People often speculate that magazine industry isn't as fruitful as it once was, so perhaps this is another way to keep the magazine brand relevant.
The “Fashion Stories” section of the website perfectly pairs the editorial world with the retail space, as it is where users can log in and create their own mood boards and search and shop other mood boards.
So the question remains, where will your next online purchase be? A classic fashion e-tailer or this new hybrid ‘one stop shop’ where you can find your inspiration and the perfect product?