RealTime IT News

Boo.com to Relaunch Just Before Halloween

[London, ENGLAND] High profile fashion site boo.com, the collapse of which devastated Internet investment for several months earlier this year, is coming back -- on Monday October 30, the day before Halloween.

Having been acquired in June 2000 by U.S. portal operator fashionmall.com, Inc., the former European fashion site will almost certainly be run along tighter commercial lines.

And yes, Miss boo will be back, too, looking taller and more athletic but still providing "kicky, irreverent product commentary" to all the 18-to-30-year-old visitors. (That's "kicky," by the way).

So will it work this time? Kate Buggeln, president of boo.com, thinks it will. She said the company has had on- and off-line conversations with past and future boo.com visitors, revealing that the boo.com community thrives on the exchange of dialogue about individual style and opinion.

"On the new boo.com this will allow for the evolution of trends and ideas in the world of fashion and lifestyle. We're creating a virtual party where the famous, infamous and anonymous can interact with impunity," said Buggeln.

Yes, but will it really, really work this time? After all, last time the collapse of boo.com triggered investment jitters that ruined the plans of hundreds of entrepreneurs and sent B2C e-commerce into a downward spiral.

Only time will tell. Initially, boo.com plans to generate revenues through advertising and from product sales and licensing. As time passes it will collect marketing data and sell it to other businesses.

Such has been the publicity surrounding the boo.com debacle, the name itself has very high recognition in the market. Boo's new owners are counting on this recognition factor to bring them a substantial traffic flow from Day One.

Clothes on the new site will be categorized in walk, wear, adorn, care, give, and play sections, and around 250 items will be featured, having been carefully selected by fashion experts. New items will be added weekly.

It all sounds very reasonable, and this time the credibility of an entire industry is not at stake.

But will Miss boo (her name spelled without a capital letter) ever become acknowledged as a style icon? Her new owners say she will be keeping an online diary, "describing the places she's been, the things she's seen and the products she's bought."

Trouble is, if Miss boo goes places, and looks at things, she's probably not shopping online.