Mark Shale launches personal shopping, advice site

Mark Shale, a Chicago retailer that closed in 2012 after 83 years, announced the launch of a personal shopping and advice site.

The new website, Markshale.com, will cater to both men and women by identifying en vogue pieces and links to places where customers can buy the looks, reported Women's Wear Daily. Content found on the Clothes and Conversation and the Fashion Finds pages will be updated weekly.

Mark Shale went through bankruptcy three times. The Baskin family, founders and operators, were unable to sustain the stores and the final three units closed two years ago. At one point the retailer had more than a dozen stores in the Midwest.

Scott Baskin, CEO of the site and the grandson of Al Baskin, who founded Mark Shale, said that people were asking him where they could buy Mark Shale clothes. That, along with a personal interest in internet shopping and ownership of the Mark Shale name and intellectual property, led to the current iteration of the site.

And online is not a bad place to be. E-commerce sales in 30 retail categories are expected to reach $294 billion in 2014 alone and $414 billion by 2018, according to Forrester Research's latest online retail forecast.

Baskin is hoping to also launch a virtual personal shopping feature where he could have a conversation with a customer and help them shop the Internet exclusively for them.

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) has had success with its recent acquisition Trunk Club, an online personalized shopping experience for men. The acquisition is part of Nordstrom's mission to further integrate the online and offline customer experience.

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article (subscription)

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