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Ecommerce: Countdown begins for launch of Dot London websites

Dot London internet domain names will enable retailers “to digitally connect with their city and create greater visibility” for their companies, retailers say, as the first websites for fashion companies hope to launch this week.

Retailers already based in London were initially able to apply between April 29 and July 31 to secure a domain name, with those successful due to be informed as early as this week, enabling them to set their new sites live. Applications also reopened this week for those still to register and companies based outside London.

Some Dot London sites - including Fortnum & Mason’s - went live in April to trial the addresses.

Fashion retailers including Liberty, lifestyle retailer Cath Kidston, luxury brand Alfred Dunhill and independent footwear retailer Tower London have all applied, and if successful their sites are expected to be unveiled over the next few weeks.

Tower London will migrate its existing site to the new domain name. Its head of ecommerce Rink Bindra told Drapers: “It’s a great opportunity for businesses to digitally connect with their city and create greater visibility. Aligning your brand with your geographical location by using a specific domain is definitely worth considering when it is central to your brand DNA like ours, and when you are in a city like ours with such great national and international clout.”

Natasha Hinds-Payne, an in-house lawyer responsible for protecting Cath Kidston’s brand online, said: “We have registered our name under Dot London because we want to ensure customers wishing to reach us in London can find us with ease and because of the direct association to our brand’s birthplace.”

London & Partners, a promotional body funded by the mayor’s office which publicises the Dot London domains, refused to reveal how many firms have registered for, or been granted, the addresses. But a spokesman said: “Retail and fashion is one of the strongest sectors for this, as these companies want to be associated with the city and its reputation for high fashion.”

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