The site was to have debuted Sept. 10.
WWD.com, the online arm of the Fairchild trade powerhouse Women's Wear Daily, would have been one of the magazine world's most ambitious Web content plays, featuring deep archives, extensive designer data and a hefty annual subscription price tag of $895. A three-month trial subscription cost $295, and site licenses were made available that would have reduced the price for companies on multiple subscriptions.
The news was broken to staffers this afternoon. The weakness in site licenses, said Fairchild CEO Mary Berner, is what made the product untenable.
"Instead of buying 50 or 100 [subscriptions]," Ms. Berner said, "because of their own cutbacks," companies "were buying only one or two."
"The timing was wrong," she added. "Everyone is cutting back on their budgets. ... It required a lot more resources and a lot more time than was prudent in this market."
WWD.Com had 12 staffers, all of whom Fairchild is seeking to place within its parent company, Advance Publications. (Eight look likely to stay on at Fairchild.) The site's head, Rochelle Udell, will continue in her role as president of Fairchild Internet.
WWD.com laid off 13 tech-side staffers the same week it showed demo versions of the product to to journalists in June.
Earlier this month, playboy.com and spin.com had layoffs as well.