November 11, 2013 Last Updated 3:55 pm

Flipboard enters the catalog category with Banana Republic, Birchbox and others

Google’s failure with their own digital solution doesn’t hold Flipboard’s effort back

Only a couple of months after Google closed down its own app of retailer catalogs, Flipboard has entered the category by signing up several major retailers.

Flipboard-catalogs-lg“By partnering with retail brands that understand the value of curation and presentation, we are able to kick off shopping with some incredible new content for our readers to browse, buy or share,” Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard said. “User studies show that people want to shop on Flipboard, and since the introduction of magazine curation, one of the most received requests is to add products to a magazine.”

The first to launch within the catalog category are companies new to Flipboard – Banana Republic and its brands which include The Black and White Shop and The Candy Shop, Birchbox, eBay and its brands, Fab, and ModCloth – and also Levi and Etsy, who already had a relationship with the new digital outlet.

It’s a modest start but Flipboard has one thing going for it that Google did not: a built-in audience already using its curation app. Google had to launch a whole new app, get people to download it, then get people to use it. With Flipboard, readers are already using the app to access the content from magazine and newspaper publishers who are making their print and digital articles available through the Flipboard app (in hopes of building readership and getting a few ad dollars back in return).

For publishers, though, this might get them wondering at what point advertisers will wonder why they bother with publishers at all – if publishers see the value of Flipboard why shouldn’t the retailers.

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