BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Market Data 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Prudence rules at new Boo
Boo,com website
The countdown has begun to the re-launch of
The new owners of fashion e-tailer have outlined their plans for the re-birth of the site.

Undeterred by the spectacular collapse of the original Boo in May, American style portal is planning to use the name to gain a foothold in the European market.

You cannot undo the past, but the new site will speak for itself president Kate Buggeln

The company believes the Boo brand still has some currency with its target audience - who don't necessarily care that it was seen as a commercial disaster.

It plans to capitalise on the familiarity of the Boo name to build an online community for 18 to 30-year-old 'style-leaders' when it relaunches on 30 October.

Boo Who?

Fashionmall claims that 35,000 people a week are still logging on to

All they will find there at the moment is an advert for the upcoming re-launch.

But's new president Katherine Buggeln believes people are still interested, even though the Boo name has some negative connotations.

"As long as people are visiting the site. That is the important thing," she says.

"If we can put in front of them something that is exciting, then they will come back for more.

"You cannot undo the past, but the new site will speak for itself."

Biggest difference

The original Boo became a byword for the worst excesses of the dot-com boom.

Its Swedish founders famously spent their way through $80m ($120m) in the six months it was a live site.

Fashionmall, which has been operating in the US since 1995, reportedly paid 0.25m for the Boo name and the Miss Boo character. The software went to UK company Bright Station.

Fashionmall plans to spend about $1m on marketing the site, compared to the $44m spent by the original Boo.

But the biggest difference will be the site itself.

Advertising revenue

Rather than running its own costly retail operation, Fashionmall's Boo will act as a shop window for a range of fashion manufacturers and retailers.

It claims to specialise in sourcing obscure, cutting edge fashion items, which are not available in the average High Street.

But its main source of income will be advertising.

Original backers

Buggeln claims to have taken advice from 'almost all' of Boo's original backers as she prepares for the launch.

She says: "There is a wait and see attitude at the moment from investors.

"We don't have the huge infrastructure that Boo had, with hundreds of people in offices around the world.

"We have 60 people in our company and only 10 of those are working on Boo."

Above all, she is hoping that the business failings of the original Boo will mean little to the site's target market.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

12 Oct 00 | Business
Barclays plans shopping portal
11 Oct 00 | Business
E-tailer Boxman collapses
01 Sep 00 | Business
The return of Boo
19 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Boo-hoo: Yahoo sues Yoohoo
01 Jun 00 | Business
US fashion portal buys Boo name
18 May 00 | Business
From to Boo.gone
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories