AOL’s Wallpaper tries out retail

AOL Time Warner’s style magazine, Wallpaper, is exploring a retail project in an attempt to extend the “quirky-style” of the magazine brand.

According to Wallpaper Group founder and chief executive Tyler Brûlé, the magazine is considering opening a retail outlet in Heathrow Airport.

Brûlé says: “Heathrow is the biggest single outlet in the world for selling the Wallpaper magazine and Wallpaper would certainly want to exploit that traffic.”

Brûlé would give no details about the retail project other than that it will not be Wallpaper branded.

The Wallpaper Group also owns Line, a twice-yearly sports title launched last year, and is planning to launch a bi-annual fashion directory entitled Spruce on August 30.

It is rumoured that the group is looking to sell off Line within the next six weeks. Sports brands, including Adidas, Reebok and Nike, which could turn the magazine into an own-brand title, are thought to be in the running.

The group has also spawned a creative consultancy, Wink Media, which is working with fashion retailer The Gap, as well as creating corporate branding work for Kurt Geiger.

Brûlé adds: “Wallpaper would like to create a house of brands. For instance, the Wallpaper Group is planning some broadcasting ventures, and has been approached by a US broadcasting company, which is not part of the AOL Time Warner group. But everything is under discussion at the moment.”

Last month, the parent company of Wallpaper, AOL Time Warner acquired IPC Media for £1.15bn cash (MW August 2).

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