After announcing its e-commerce venture People Shop last fall, People magazine is expanding into fashion and beauty with the launch of its latest collaboration.
The Time, Inc.-owned publisher is partnering with Cameron Dale, costume designer behind Pretty Little Liars, the popular show on Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). The online shop, which launched yesterday in tandem with the start of season seven, currently features 50 items as worn by the characters and will be updated in real-time as the season progresses. Readers can browse an array of items largely consisting of jewelry and handbags at affordable price points ranging from $10-$150. Some items have already sold out.
The venture is part of a larger effort by Time, Inc. to expand revenue following lackluster performance in recent years. While it reported revenue growth of one percent in the first quarter of this year, its best quarterly performance in the past two years, the company is still seeking innovative ways to drive income.
The Pretty Little Liars program is a large step for the program, which started nimbly with a limited number of products and brand partners. “We’re starting very conservatively; we’re not building Macy’s right now,” Jess Cagle, editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly, told Digiday in October.
Jessica Malloy, senior director at People magazine who is at the helm of People Shop, said the program has served as an extension of the editorial brand and allowed it to better connect with readers.
“I think at its base, People is all about telling stories and providing a service, and e-commerce provides a way to deliver more value and provide more service to the consumer,” Malloy said.
While she declined to provide specific sales numbers, Malloy said she was “really happy” with People Shop’s performance and noted that it has exceeded goals and forecasted revenue.
Though this is People Shop’s first foray into fashion, Malloy said expanding its style and beauty ventures beyond its core entertainment content is a goal of the program, an effort mirrored by People at large. Along with People Shop, the company also launched PeopleStyle last September, a vertical focused on breaking news for style and beauty readers, as well as expanded video offerings.
PeopleStyle started largely as a result of high readership numbers within People’s online style coverage, reaching upwards of six million unique viewers in July 2015, higher than Glamour, Vogue, and Allure at the time. It now lives within the Time Inc. Style Network — which includes the monthly print magazine People StyleWatch, and its accompanying website, TheOutfit.com — and has continued to expand its team in the last six months. Its coverage includes celebrity-centric stories on fashion and beauty, including the “I Really Love My” series and makeup tips.
According to Sharon Clott Kanter, deputy style director at PeopleStyle.com, PeopleStyle has become “a newsroom within a newsroom,” and the Pretty Little Liars People Shop has served as a catalyst for the team to expand video programming, with behind the scenes interviews with Dale and the cast.
“Video is definitely ramping up and it’s something we’re really excited about internally because it’s another way to connect with readers and viewers,” Kanter said.
Malloy noted there has been a particularly high level of enthusiasm for the fashions of the Pretty Little Liars characters this season as they are now out of high school and aged five years, demonstrating a new level of sartorial maturity.
“Editorially, Pretty Little Liars has always been a focus because they really tend to pinpoint the trendiest moments in fashion at the time,” Malloy said.