What is CLADmen.com? And will you use it?

A new retail destination?  Or soon to be forgotten?
CLAD as hell:  Esquire dives into online retail.

Publishing.  It’s not an easy business.  More people are starting to believe that the words and pictures we’ve always paid to see in newspapers, magazines, and books, should forever be free if accessed on the internet.  The hell they thinking… that writers and photographers work for free?  I thought only Postal Workers and UPS drivers did that.

Kidding.  Mostly.

Since the revenue streams for Esquire, GQ, and pretty much every other magazine on the planet have slowed, these magazines are probably looking for new ways to make money.  You’d think this is part of a strategy to do just that.  Here’s how a few popular publications are going about it:

J.C. Penny?  Really?  Indeed.  But of course, it’s not quite that simple.  CLAD doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to what they are and who’s participating.  This is from their easy to find “about” page:

CLAD is part of a strategic promotional relationship between Hearst Magazines and J.C. Penney Company, Inc., designed to create the next generation of online retail business.  J.C. Penney is an investor in CLAD, not an owner.

So J.C. Penny is on board but there’s nothing J.C. Penny looking about Cladmen.com.  Designers available are the likes of Hugo Boss, Billy Reid, and Varvatos.  Suits and watches seem to average in the high hundreds, and shoes are $150 and up.  It’s not Old Navy, but it’s not… well it’s not Park & Bond either.  Leaning heavily that way though.

CLAD isn’t overflowing with a variety of stock, but the site is clean and there’s a sale section.  They’re also doing the “get $25 in credit every time one of your referrals signs up and makes a purchasething.  And of course, since this is the merging of content and retail, there’s a portion of the website dedicated to “damn good advice.”

But will you use it?  Or will CLAD quickly become forgettable, just like Park & Bond did for some of us?  Leave your take in the comments below…

Also know that there’s a $50 off $150 code: ESQ, which appears on the back of the mini promotional magazine “The Clad Report” (inside this month’s Esquire.)  But it doesn’t seem to be working right now.