'Los Angeles Times' Launches E-Commerce Site

As newspaper publishers search for new sources of revenue in addition to advertising and circulation, many are turning to e-commerce, with ventures ranging from branded wine clubs to travel agencies. Now the Los Angeles Times Media Group is diving into e-commerce with District West, an independent online emporium for clothing, accessories, home goods, food, and other products from designers, stores, and producers around L.A.
 
The shopping hub presents an array of goods intended to reflect the Southern California lifestyle -- most priced less than $200, along with tips and advice from L.A.-area bloggers. The site is compatible with a range of devices and has a heavy visual component. The emphasis on lifestyle and fashion content also makes it suitable for native advertising and brand integration.
 
At launch, the District West site includes a listing of the top 12 most popular items, profiles of various hip boutiques, a section devoted to highlighting the style of a specific neighborhood, interviews with fashion bloggers, and short “street style” pieces interviewing ordinary (if well-accoutered) Angelenos on the street.
 
The launch of District West comes as LAT, like the rest of Tribune Co.’s newspapers, prepare to be spun off from the rest of the company, which will be focused on TV broadcasting.

In December, Tribune Co. completed the $2.73 billion acquisition of 16 TV stations owned by Local TV, with another three stations passing to Tribune control through third-party owners.
 
As part of the transition, the publishing division plans to lay off around 700 employees. Last year, Tribune laid off several dozen LAT employees, and more cuts at the newspaper are expected.
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