On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, it has been announced that one of the world’s most sought-after and highly valued domains — fashion.com — will be sold at auction this autumn, leading one Internet expert to suggest it could fetch a record price.
“With the worldwide race in online fashion, I would expect fashion.com to attract a lot of interest from giant retailers and well-known brands, along with successful smaller players and new entrants looking for a competitive edge,” said Karine Kugler, CEO of The Three Marketers, a firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing. “As a result,” Kugler concluded, “this could be one of the highest prices ever paid for a domain. Fashion.com is a rare one: iconic, highly memorable and easily searched. It should generate strong sales numbers while saving its buyer millions in sales and marketing costs.”
Dozens of companies and individuals have made cash offers to buy fashion.com over the past 25 years, according to Peter Johnston, the international business advisor who represents the domain’s three owners; in 1994, the trio was working on a fashion project and searched for a domain that might meet their needs. They discovered fashion.com was unclaimed and bought it. After plans for their project changed, the domain sat unused.
In the decades since, the fashion industry has exploded worldwide, reaching an estimated $2 trillion in annual value, with online sales leading the way and set to increase to $700 billion by 2022.
“The owners of fashion.com have decided that a formal bidding process is the best way to systematically and fairly address interest from so many parties around the globe,” said Johnston. “This approach ensures that all those wanting to acquire the domain will be given an opportunity to do so.”
To account for the fact that some buyers are sensitive about the amount of their winning bids being made public, the auction for fashion.com will incorporate both private bidding, beginning October 24th, and as necessary, a public auction scheduled for November 21st. Registration for all bidders opens October 10th.
Official service providers include Escrow.com, and the pioneering online auction firm Auction-Experts (auction-experts.com), which will oversee the auction and related technology.