Hachette Seeks Shelter on Web

NEW YORK Hachette Filipacchi said it would launch PointClickHome.com, a Web portal centered around home buying and remodeling, that mixes resource tools, e-commerce and content culled together from the sites for Elle Decor, Home and Metropolitan Home, as well as several of the company’s special interest titles.

PointClickHome, which will debut in the second quarter, targets home buyers and consumers about to take on a major home improvement project. A central feature of the new site will be a resource guide allowing users to research various products featured in Hachette’s shelter books and Web sites, including the company’s sizable archives. Links from each product will direct users to retail sites for potential purchases.

The portal will also house several interactive tools providing amateur interior decorators the means to color and decorate virtual rooms using images of real-world products, along with interactive floor plans.

Beyond functionality, the site will also produce plenty of original content, including question-and-answer sessions with professional decorators, seasonal guides, store profiles and how-to instructions for select projects. Video segments will be added in the near future.

The plan is to leverage Hachette’s expertise and long history of covering the home improvement segments at one consolidated Web location. “As the in-market buyer’s behavior shifts, we are focusing on what we do best at Hachette—helping the consumer go from inspiration to action by editing vast amounts of choices and by providing independent product reviews and creative tools,” said Hachette CEO Jack Kliger. “This move is part of our larger strategy to make a significant investment in our strong brands across digital platforms.”

Hachette emphasized that PointClickHome will not replace any of the sites for its shelter titles, but is intended to drive users to Elledecor.com, Homemag.com and MetHome.com, each of which will undergo a redesign this year.

The company is also planning to build a new dedicated ad sales unit for its shelter print and Web publications.

Hachette is following a broader trend that finds traditional print publishers creating digital products in order to grow. The No. 1 magazine publisher, Time Inc., rattled by layoffs and bureau closings in recent months, last week said it would enhance the Web presence of several key titles, including People.com.