20 July 2000

Leading US women’s web portal iVillage yesterday announced plans to enter the UK market this autumn in a 50/50 partnership with Tesco Stores, Britain's largest supermarket chain.

Over the next three years, Tesco will invest £12 million ($18m) in cash in the portal, branded iVillage UK. Eight different online channels will offer lifestyle information to women, at the same time hyping Tesco products. Reciprocal promotion will appear on Tesco’s own transactional site, Tesco.com.

iVillage estimates that some 15% of its 8.4m unique users per month are outside the USA, and claims it already has significant market share in Britain. The duo will support the venture with a combined investment of around $70m in marketing, branding, cash and intellectual property.

London-based, iVillage UK will be managed independently and is budgeted to move into cash profitability after three years. Its board will comprise three directors from each of the partners, led by an independent chair.

News source: Financial Times