RealTime IT News

Chelsea Interactive Launches New E-Commerce Platform

Fashion retailer Elisabeth by Liz Claiborne, footwear firm Cole Haan and lingerie company Maidenform will be the first brands to establish their e-commerce infrastructures using Chelsea Interactive's new technology platform.

Chelsea Interactive, an affiliate of Chelsea GCA Realty Inc., said that through a strategic relationship with e-business consulting company Proxicom Inc., it will provide each brand with a direct-to-the-consumer online store incorporating e-commerce design, development, fulfillment and customer service.

Proxicom provides Chelsea Interactive clients with consulting services including strategic planning, project management, Web site design, technology development and legacy system integration.

Each brand will maintain control over all aspects of its online store's products, prices and image, Chelsea said. Financial arrangements with the retailers were not disclosed.

"Rather than each brand starting out on its own to develop every element of a complete e-commerce infrastructure, Chelsea Interactive provides brands with their own customized online stores built upon a robust, shared platform," said David Bloom, chairman and chief executive officer of Chelsea GCA. "Chelsea Interactive allows each brand to focus on what it does best: manage the high quality of its products and image."

The solution includes use of BroadVision Inc.'s scalable e-commerce software for inventory management, transaction processing and user-profile databases; and PeopleSupport Inc. for e-mail, online text chat and telephone customer service.

Chelsea GCA develops, leases, manages and owns fashion-oriented manufacturers' outlet centers. Chelsea GCA's portfolio currently includes more than 1,600 real-world stores.

By leveraging the economies of scale in Chelsea Interactive's platform, brands going online can access an outsourced solution that minimizes their own investment, the company said.

Its business model centers initially on the brand equity developed by the brands themselves, not on branding itself as a "dot-com" destination. Chelsea Interactive's revenues will be based primarily on a percentage of each brand's online sales.