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Mary Portas logs on to social networking

Retail guru Mary Portas is to unveil a social networking site for consumers, allowing independent retailers to gain an online presence through its ratings and review concept.

The site, www.maryportas.com, which was set to go live as Drapers went to press, will enable shoppers and retailers to grade and review shops across the globe and provide a platform for indies to upload other information about their own shops.

Maryportas.com, which aims to become a destination site for discussions on retail, was due to go live ahead of the broadcast of Portas’s new series of TV show Mary Queen of Shops on BBC on June 7. The latest series features Portas trouble-shooting at indies outside of the fashion market.

The website, which generated 5,000 email registrations in the run-up to its launch, also features opinion polls to indicate consumer behaviour.

The site will also host the work of Portas’s strategic retail communications agency, Yellowdoor.

Yellowdoor managing partner Peter Cross said the site gave a “phenomenal opportunity for independents here to increase their profile on the web”.

The site will be promoted through Portas’s Facebook and Twitter pages and through a tie-up with the Daily Telegraph, in which she has a weekly column.

Portas is also set to launch her own clothing range for over-40s women.

A launch date has not been finalised.

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