Europe is to get its first online natural health and beauty site, hot on the heels of Boots the chemist’s confirmation that it is opening a site targeted at females dubbed Handbag.com this autumn.
Thinknatural.com is the brainchild of Carol Dukes, the former founder and managing director of Carlton Online. She is hoping that the ecommerce site, which goes live in November, will suck consumers away from the high street.
As well as beauty products the site will stock vitamins, food supplements, homeopathic products, aromatherapy oils and alternative therapies. A team of journalists and qualified practitioners will provide updated news, features and advice to consumers.
"The natural health products sector has a vast product range, manufactured by a multitude of very small producers,” explains Dukes. “The retail channel is characterised by many individual health food shops and by limited range mail order operations - there exists an opportunity to consolidate this market, and the unique economics of Web site publishing provide us with the means to do so.”
"With one distribution centre, and one Web site we can simultaneously reach the entire online UK population,” added Dukes.
Only yesterday Boots and Hollinger Telegraph New Media announced its plans to launch Handbag.com, a shopping, news, health and beauty site targeted at women. It is slated to go live on 6 October.
The beauty products industry already rakes in billions per year offline. And online sales are expected to explode from $43.7 million this year, to $445.7 million by 2002, according to research company Jupiter Communications.
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