Goodhome Shops $20 Mil. Task

Yet another new e-tailer is talking to agencies–but this one has deep pockets and enviable media connections.
Founded in June 1999 with $50 million in first-round capital, will start selling home furnishings and decor this month, said CEO Douglas Mack.
The company’s investors will also provide media connections, technology, and retail know-how in addition to cash. Hearst New Media and Technology, a unit of The Hearst Corp., is the owner of House Beautiful, Lifetime and; The Learning Co., Mattel’s software development division, provided technology for the site; Thomas H. Lee Co. is a $6 billion venture capital fund; and Weston Presidio Capital has invested in such retailers as Restoration Hardware and Staples.
Mack said the company is in the middle of a review and will choose an agency this month, when the site goes “live.” Mack would not discuss which shops he is speaking to or how many, only that Goodhome will spend more than $20 million on ads in its first year, the majority of which will be offline.
Mack said he wants a shop “with a proven track record of brand-building” and experience attracting female consumers, since “women make 80 percent of decorating decisions.” Having experience in retail or with dot-com brands is “not a primary factor,” Mack said, nor is location, as “we’re living in a world of virtual corporations.”
The client has offices in San Rafael, Calif., and New York.