02 June 2000

New York-based fashion portal yesterday bought failed e-tailer from liquidator KPMG for an undisclosed sum. Boo collapsed last month [WAMN, 18-May-00] after spending $135m (£90m) of venture capital funding in under eighteen months.

According to Fashionmall chief executive Ben Narasin, his company will transform Boo’s business strategy, enabling it to succeed where the original template failed. Says Narasin: "Boo's business model failed. But Boo the brand was succeeding. Boo is probably one of the top ten most recognised brands on the internet." His lips were zipped as to the value of the all-cash deal, except that it was “substantially more” than Bright Station paid recently for Boo’s web technology [£250,000 – see WAMN, 31-May-00].

Fashionmall intends to shift from Boo’s former direct sales strategy, instead linking shoppers to other retailers, manufacturers and catalogues. "The old Boo would have sold you a pair of Nike trainers from its warehouses. Now the shopper will go straight to Nike," says Narasin. He will, however, resurrect Boo's online magazine, Boom, and use the site's virtual shopping assistant. Revenues will be generated via advertising, sponsorship and levying commission on participating retailers.

News source: Financial Times