Tesco partners iVillage for UK venture

LONDON - Tesco is partnering with iVillage, the leading US women’s online network, to create iVillage UK.

The venture will serve the women’s online market in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, providing customised services such as content channels, chat, and message boards.

The two companies are investing a total of $70m on marketing, branding, cash, intellectual property and other resources.

Under the agreement, Tesco will have its products and services integrated through the iVillage network. Tesco Direct will be the grocery partner on the food channel, Tesco’s Baby & Toddler store will be promoted through the pregnancy and baby channel, and Tesco.com will have a permanent presence in the shopping channel.

In turn, iVillage.co.uk will receive marketing and promotional support from Tesco, such as in-store promotions, positioning on Tesco’s ISP Tesco.net and space in Tesco’s print publications.

The new venture, which will be headquartered in London, expects to reach cash profitability after about three years. Revenue will come mainly from advertising and sponsorship.

iVillage, which was established in the US in 1995, currently attracts 8.4m unique visitors a month, 15% of whom originate outside the US, according to research cited by the company.

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