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04/25/2022

Us Weekly launches celebrity-focused e-commerce site

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Us Weekly is getting into the e-commerce business.

A celebrity- and entertainment news-focused magazine is extending its brand into e-commerce.

Us Weekly is rolling out UsNow.com, a new e-commerce site featuring curated items in categories including fashion, wellness, beauty, and home. The site will focus on products which are currently trending and are either used, created, and or sold and marketed by celebrities. For example, UsNow.com is currently offering exclusive bundles from singer Toni Braxton’s Nude Sugar vegan skincare line and TV personality Lala Kent’s Give Them Lala Beauty brand.

Customers can also browse “Get the Look,” a shoppable page featuring the latest styles accessories worn by celebrities. Current items featured on “Get the Look” include Sant & Abel pajamas, worn by TV host and executive producer Andy Cohen.

The Us Weekly brand is part of A360 Media's entertainment selection of publications. To build and design UsNow, Us Weekly and A360 Media created a dedicated e-commerce team leveraging the company's logistics ecosystem and direct-to-consumer (DTC) experience from parent company Accelerate360.

Magazines become direct-to-consumer retailers
Us Weekly is not the first magazine to cross into the direct-to-consumer retail space. However, many other publications have focused their efforts more on the brick-and-mortar side of the equation. For example, beauty magazine Allureopened its first physical store, in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, in 2021.

The store offers a curated selection of more than 280 makeup, hair care and skin care products that were selected by the Allure editorial staff and previously featured in Allure. The two-level, 2,000-sq.-ft. store, a partnership between Allure publisher Condé Nast and the Stôur Group, is designed to serve as a physical extension of the Allure brand. It also boasts technology enhancements to provide for a more efficient and seamless shopping experience.

The tech features include augmented reality capabilities that enable customers to try products virtually and QR codes that link to multimedia content where customers can learn more about a product. There are also smart mirrors that let shoppers become creators by using the product samples to create looks, which the mirror then captures.  

2021 also saw PLBY Group (formerly the now-defunct mens magazine publisher Playboy) acquire Australian lingerie brand Honey Birdette for approximately $333 million in cash and stock. Building upon its existing digital commerce and brick-and-mortar retail platform, Honey Birdette is focused on expanding its retail footprint across the United States, U.K. and Europe. This aligns with efforts by Playboy, which ceased publication of its iconic magazine at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, to shift its image to that of a consumer lifestyle products and digital services company for both men and women.

“At UsNow.com you'll find craze-worthy products to help you look and feel like a VIP," said Doug Olson, chief media officer and president of A360 Media. "We collaborated with 35 brands led by the nation's most recognized celebrities to curate more than 250 launch items in the fashion, wellness, beauty, and home categories."

"UsNow connects Us Weekly's celebrity culture with the eCommerce demands of today's consumer," said Trey Holder, chief business officer and president of distribution & logistics of Accelerate360. "Shoppers draw inspiration from trending content online — and Accelerate360's logistics network and online experience allows them to engage in purchases at the moment of discovery."