Tesco.com, iVillage to Create Women’s Site for U.K.

[London, ENGLAND] The U.K’s largest retailer
Tesco has teamed
with iVillage,
the operator of The Women’s Network, to create
iVillage UK.

The new U.K. site, which despite its name will also
serve the Republic of Ireland, is iVillage’s first
international equity relationship. It is scheduled
to launch in the fourth quarter of 2000 with eight
content channels covering topics of interest to
women.

Tesco’s contribution to iVillage UK will be $18
million in cash over the next three years, together
with marketing know-how and extensive promotion. With
iVillage contributing content, branding and
intellectual property, the total resources being
put into the venture are said to be worth in the
region of $70 million.

Candice Carpenter, chief executive officer, iVillage,
said the U.K. launch was an exciting step in the
globalization of iVillage.com.

“It’s a natural alliance: iVillage brings best-of-breed
content. Tesco.com brings proven e-commerce savvy. As
Tesco’s Clubcard magazine also reaches 14 million U.K.
consumers, iVillage UK is very well positioned to quickly
build a leadership position through cross-promotional
initiatives, further establishing an international
footprint for the iVillage.com brand,” said Carpenter.

John Browett, chief executive officer, Tesco, confirmed
there was synergy between the two companies and said
that of all potential Internet partners, iVillage was
the one with a clear lead in community-based content.

Just two or three years ago, analysts were still judging
the Internet to be male-dominated. Now, they expect women
to comprise 60 percent of all U.K. online users by 2005,
according to figures noted by Tesco.

Michele Anderson, senior vice president, Strategic
Development, iVillage, said that in the United States
80 percent of all purchases are controlled or influenced
by women. She thought that iVillage.co.uk would benefit
from the same trend, providing sponsors with a powerful
marketing platform for reaching U.K. women.

Tesco has enjoyed significant success with its own online
business at tesco.com, notching up 48,000 orders per week
with annual sales of $300 million. In the “real world” it
now has 646 stores in the U.K. and 75 in the Republic of
Ireland.

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