Amid a troubled climate for digital publishers, Refinery29 is seeking new revenue streams by entering the product licensing arena.
The female-leaning lifestyle site has pacted with IMG in an exclusive, multi-year deal to explore Refinery29-branded health, beauty, apparel, accessories, office, home, bedding, and décor products. IMG marks Refinery’s first global licensing partner, and a press release states that future launches will aim to fulfill the publication’s mission “to be a catalyst for women to see, feel, and claim their power.”
“Refinery29 is one of the most relevant and trusted brands in today’s market, championing women through credible content, meaningful experiences, positive impact, and inclusive storytelling,” IMG licensing director Van Kokeh said in a statement. “Together, we will identify partners that are aligned with their core values to create thoughtful and inclusive products.”
In May, IMG pacted with publisher Epic Games to create Fortnite-branded consumer products.
For its part, Refinery29 laid off 34 employees — or 7.5% of its workforce — in December, with co-CEOs Philippe Von Borries and Justin Stefano citing an industry-wide “correction in the digital media space.” To this end, the company also sought new revenue streams by announcing its foray into the movie business in July. Fellow publisher BuzzFeed, which has also seen staff cuts, has similarly entered the consumer products space — notably via its Tasty brand, which launched a line of cooking products at Walmart in March.