New Site Aims High
--A consumer site launching this week will attempt to separate newly established yuppies from their fledgling stock portfolios. Called Foofoo.com, it merges content from tony magazines such as Travel & Leisure with an e-commerce arena that offers access to upscale e-tailers such as J. Crew and The Sharper Image.
The site was founded in part by president Connie Ling, a former vp at Arlington, Va.-based NDC Group's Internet Technology Services division. The Foofoo.com site aims to attract people "who want the finer, as well as the fun things, in life," Ling said.
The term "foofoo" is a code word among Ling's friends for something that is chic and upscale. The site speaks to 24- to 34-year-old brand-oriented users who aspire to look better, feel better, have more money, and travel, among other lofty goals.
Founded in January of this year, Foofoo.com is a privately held, venture capital-backed company, headquartered in Arlington, Va. The site staged a soft launch in June. Content partners include Food & Wine, Elle, Premier, Men's Health, Travel Holiday, Travel & Leisure, Golf & Travel, Healing Retreats and Spas, and Tastings.com, among others. Some content, about 25 percent, will be original Foofoo.com-branded content and be housed in a special section of the site.
E-commerce partners to date include J. Crew, The Sharper Image, CDnow, Healthshop.com, I Go Golf, Liquor By Wire, Planet RX, Selfcare and The Smoke Shop. Deals currently in the works include 911 Gifts, Everything Wireless, Sendwine.com and Virtual Vineyards. The site is negotiating with American Express for the company to become its preferred credit card vendor.
Anyone can access the site, although those who opt to submit their e-mail addresses will receive e-mail newsletters. That direct marketing data--for now anyway--will not be loaned or sold. "We really want to treat our customers with kid gloves," said Phil Sampson, a Foofoo.com founder and its marketing director.
The site's revenue will come from banner advertising as well as an e-commerce affiliate program. Retailers for which Foofoo.com will provide back-end e-commerce support will funnel back a portion of sales to Foofoo.com.