Dresses Up for the Web

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Ann Taylor Stores Inc. yesterday announced its first channel outside bricks-and-mortar retail with the launch of, a site that initially targets existing customers of the upscale apparel brand.

Created by Digitas Inc., Boston -- also responsible for the online stores of Neiman Marcus and L.L.Bean, among others -- will carry a selection of the retailer's range of classic apparel.

Key features of the site at include an ability to zoom in on products, a "wardrobing" room that allows for mix and match of outfits and an interactive wardrobe adviser.

Another key element on the site is the ability through the Quick Shop function to shop for complete ensembles or merchandise featured in mailings or national print ads. Consumers also have home page access to Ann Taylor's petites collection, which accounts for a sizeable chunk of storewide sales.

The site's launch comes in the midst of major relaunches of,, and, all traditional retailers preparing to partake of online holiday shopping. It also coincides with the recent demise of Internet-only players such as,, and

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