On Monday, Lucky Group, the Conde Nast-backed venture still in relative infancy, unveiled its newest enterprise: Lucky Shops, a site marrying editorial content and e-commerce.
In response to the success of “shoppable” editorial platforms such as Who What Wear, The Coveteur, and Into the Gloss, Lucky has decided to stake its claim in e-commerce territory. However, unlike the aforementioned sites, Lucky Shops will be an e-commerce platform in itself, selling items directly a la mega successful enterprises Net-a-Porter, Matches, and Shop Bop. The question is, what can it do to differentiate itself?
One possible answer is product selection. Lucky Magazine Editor in Chief and Lucky Group Chief Creative Officer Eva Chen takes great pride in the fact that each piece on the site is chosen personally by herself or another editor—as opposed to a buyer, which is usually the case at most e-commerce sites. This is true even for the “shops within a shop” on the site, selections from other retailers such as Barney’s or Whistles that may be purchased via Lucky Shops but are still stocked by the retailers.
Though the move itself isn’t surprising—consumers are demanding easier ways to sift through the myriad of products being sold to them on a regular basis—who it’s coming from is more so. Lucky Magazine isn’t exactly thriving (their September issue sold more than 30% fewer advertising pages than the previous year) and BeachMint, the L.A.-based e-commerce company with whom Lucky Magazine formed Lucky Group, wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up itself.
But the speed at which this new venture came together is more than a little impressive. In under six months, Lucky Shops signed almost 200 brands and put together a palatable if not 100% complete website. Some designer pages are missing items and parts of the design don’t exactly mesh, but the potential is evident, as is the Lucky-esque aesthetic.
One thing is clear on LuckyShops.com: content takes center stage. The focus is on stories—trend articles, designer profiles, news stories. Editorial content gets top billing on the homepage, as well as at the bottom of product pages. Sidebars highlight news items (the Grammy’s and other award shows being prominent this week), making it more than just a compilation of aesthetically-pleasing editor cuts like the ones you see on sites like Net-a-Porter. This is where its roots as a magazine are clear; (already, the previous digital home of Lucky Magazine, LuckyMag.com, is forwarding visitors to LuckyShops.com). Which, of course, begs the question: What will happen to Lucky Magazine?