RealTime IT News

Brooks Brothers Launches Virtual Shopping Service

Brooks Brothers, saying it wants to target a "new, younger customer," opened a virtual store at brooksbrothers.com.

Internet site developer Bowne Internet Solutions created the transactional site where customers can preview an extensive array of Brooks Brothers offerings, including men's and women's clothing, footwear and accessories, and purchase the products online.

"This new distribution channel provides us with the opportunity to reach a new, younger customer and to provide our existing customers with the means to shop anytime and anywhere," said Jonathan Roman, Brooks Brothers' vice president for direct marketing.

"Bowne Internet Solutions worked with us to develop the strategy for the site--it was important for us to have a fully integrated transactional site for our first appearance online." Billings were not disclosed.

Visitors who register at the site can access a number of convenient features. For example, all items ordered or placed in electronic shopping bags by Brooks Brothers' online members are stored for future use, enabling members to come back to the site to review past orders as well as selections they have not yet purchased, the firm said.

Members also receive e-mail notices about sales, promotions, new releases and special features.

Both registered members and all visitors can apply online for a Brooks Brothers charge card, request a catalog, learn about upcoming special events, and locate a Brooks Brothers store by using the store locator tool.

"Providing a convenient experience for the end customer and an extension to Brooks Brothers' existing distribution channels was the premise behind our development of this site," said Bowne Internet Solutions CEO John Long.

Future site features will include an interactive service for designing custom- made shirts and a guide to dressing rules. For members, site upgrades will include the storage of personalized measurements and buying preferences.

Brooks Brothers was founded in New York City in 1818. A subsidiary of United Kingdom-based retailer Marks & Spencer, plc, the company currently operates 74 retail and 53 factory stores in the United States, and a direct mail catalog business. Brooks Brothers also sells its merchandise in 66 retail stores in Japan, and two locations in Hong Kong.

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