If you have ever been inside the inner workings of the luxury taste making machine of Net-a-Porter it is like some 21st century dark satanic mill. Apart from the fact it's very light, and comfortable and buzzing with positive energy but, and stick with my analogy, it is vast enterprise. Desk after desk, screen after screen, elegant angle-poise light after elegant angle-poise light. And, ironically enough, sitting on top of one of Europe's biggest traditional luxury / premium shopping malls - Westfield in West London. It's a sight to behold especially when your gaze turns to the large screens on the wall showing the flurry of orders from all around the world.
And make no mistake it's here to stay and eager to remain as innovative and relevant as the day when it was founded.
Which makes their latest move, to launch a glossy magazine, priced £5 on the newstands incredibly savvy. A maxim I particularly like is judge someone, not by their friends, but by their enemies and the terse commentary which greeted the arrival of Porter from publishing industry stalwarts such as Vogue said it all.
This is a very solid proposition. A magazine locked into a company which sells product - marry up those subscriptions with the order history of the subscriber and you have the sort of insight and messaging opportunity which advertisers dream about.
I've passed the first edition around an audience I respect and the reaction has been solid. Strong content, visually appealing and a welcome addition to their browsing.
And cleverly that £5 cover price represents a premium on Vogue's £4. Effectively using price to say "we are better".
Traditional print needs this sort of provocation. It's a reminder that paper based media can still be relevant. And interestingly enough we men have benefited from the free broadsheet, Mr Porter, for some time. Carefully collecting it from the airport lounge and using it to help our own shopping or those who buy on our behalf.