Italian clothing marketers launch b2b portal

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ROME--Stefanel and Basic Net, two of Italy's leading clothing makers, are planning to set up an online venture for the apparel industry in an effort to cut down on supply costs.

The two rivals will own equal shares of the new company, NewCo., which is being set up with the help of Internet venture capital fund Kiwi II. The companies say the exchange will "act as a market maker for the companies in the fashion industries by linking supply and demand."

While no advertising strategy for the venture has been finalized, a spokesman for Stefanel says a future campaign would include print ads in trade, and general press in Italy and abroad. No agency has yet been appointed.

The initiative is part of a worldwide trend for companies to use the Internet to make supply markets more transparent to help cut costs.

Stefanel sells its clothing and accessories through a chain of stores it operates in Italy and abroad. Basic Net owns several brands, including Robe di Kappa and Jesus Jeans.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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