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.

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