Stick a Fork In 'Lucky,' It's Done

Lucky, the shopping magazine at one time cited as a model for the future of publishing, is to all appearances finally defunct, according to multiple reports in the fashion and trade press.

And unlike other closings, which publishers try to minimize by pointing to a continued Web presence, this time it’s well and truly dead. Everyone has been fired and the Web site and social media accounts are dormant.

The final demise of Lucky has been a long time coming. Launched by Condé Nast in 2000, its synthesis of editorial and marketing content was considered innovative at the time. But in recent years, the title suffered from growing competition from a new generation of online fashion retailers, as well as online publishers with e-commerce built into their business model from the beginning.

(Ironically, one big e-commerce site, Net-a-Porter, went on to add a print magazine, Porter, last year).

In August 2014, Condé Nast sold Lucky to ecommerce platform BeachMint to create a combined editorial and e-commerce entity, with complete control of all Lucky’s editorial content, including print and digital channels.

In February, Lucky launched LuckyShops, a site which combined the magazine’s print and digital editorial content with an online retail engine rendering it shoppable -- and also laid off 12 staffers. Editor-in-chief Eva Chen bailed in April, leaving to become head of fashion partnerships at Instagram.

In May, the magazine officially shifted to a quarterly publication schedule, but another round of staff cuts in June fueled renewed speculation that its days were numbered. The nine remaining staffers were laid off last week.

Although publishers and tech companies will go to impressive rhetorical lengths to convince you they’re still in business, my rule of thumb is: When you don’t have any employees, you no longer exist.

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