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Monday, 30 October, 2000, 11:06 GMT
Boo is back
New Boo's website
Breathless announcement on boo.com website
Bally-hoo, boo-hoo, yah-boo, boo-boo.

The collapse of fashion e-tailer Boo in May brought all these and more to the minds of many critics, who could hardly contain their sense of Schadenfreude.


This time it's personal

New Boo
There may have been few tears shed this year for the lost fortunes of chastened internet millionaires, but the collapse of Boo was particularly enjoyed by the told-you-sos.

However, Fashionmall, the American online clothes firm that bought up the rights to the Boo name, reckons it will have the last laugh.

As of Monday, Boo is back, and by the look of the movie-style website poster announcing its return, it means business.

'Boo.com - the sequel'

Its return is described as "the revenge of style... because style never dies".

Boo's web site
Miss Boo hopes to be back for good
And there is more: "It's the site you've been waiting and waiting and waiting for.

"A brand new production! All new cast! All new direction!

"This time it's personal."

The original Boo spent its way through 80m ($115) before the plug was pulled.

Perhaps in view of past excesses, the new Boo is expected to be a model of financial restraint.

Cost control

Fashionmall says it has 60 staff and only 10 of those are working on Boo, so the stratospheric costs of the original operation should be avoided.

Fashionmall plans to capitalise on the familiarity of the brand with 18 to 30-year-olds in Europe, claiming 35,000 people a week have continued to log on to Boo since its demise.

After Fashionmall announced almost two months ago it would be relaunching Boo, the website featured an invitation to customers to register their interest.

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.

Spectacular collapse

Fashionmall, which was founded in 1994, says it specialises in sourcing obscure, cutting-edge fashion items, which are not available on the average High Street.

But its main source of income will be advertising.

Boo went bust with the loss of 300 jobs in May after only six months as a live site.

It was set up by Swedes Ernst Malmsten and former model Kajsa Leander with the intention of creating a global fashion brand, and attracted blue-chip investors ranging from Goldman Sachs to French retail boss Bernard Arnault.

The company was dogged by technical problems with its ambitious site and difficulties in fulfilling orders, which forced it to delay its launch several times.

Former workers at the company spoke of a culture in which there was no control over spending, and Mr Malmsten later admitted that the company had been "too ambitious" in its website plans.

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See also:

18 May 00 | Business
From Boo.com to Boo.gone
18 May 00 | Business
The future of e-tailing
11 Oct 00 | Business
E-tailer Boxman collapses
18 May 00 | Business
Top web retailer collapses
18 May 00 | Business
My bout with Boo.com
25 Jan 00 | Business
Boo.com axes staff
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