Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop names new CEO, plans e-commerce push

Cast member Gwyneth Paltrow poses at the premiere of "Thanks for Sharing" in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Goop, the lifestyle blog and online shopping site founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008, named a new chief executive officer on Monday to spearhead an e-commerce expansion that includes Goop-branded apparel.

Lisa Gersh, who was previously CEO and president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and co-founder of Oxygen Media, will expand the site’s tie-ups with fashion designers including Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg next year.

“We have a brand. Now it’s time to build the business to that level,” Gersh said in an interview.

For the next 18 months, Goop will focus on being a U.S.-based site that ships globally. Goop will also build its own advertising team to tap into the site’s loyal fan base, said Gersh, who also sits on the board of toymaker Hasbro Inc.

Eventually, Goop will launch its own label, stretching into apparel - starting with basic wardrobe staples - beauty and home, Gersh added. “We’ve seen the mistakes out there,” she said. “We’ll take small steps.”

Gersh resigned from Martha Stewart Living in December 2012 after a rocky tenure that saw her in the CEO job for less than six months. While at the company, she led the restructuring of the company’s publishing unit.

After leaving the company, Gersh began advising fitness guru Tracy Anderson, who introduced her to longtime client Paltrow, Gersh said. In June, Paltrow moved Goop to Los Angeles from London.

Goop’s expansion comes at a time when other celebrity-backed e-commerce companies are doing the same. The Honest Company, a startup co-founded by actress Jessica Alba that sells organic and environmentally friendly family products, is looking to expand in China and is planning to eventually go public.

The bulk of U.S. retail sales still happens in brick-and-mortar stores, but e-commerce is growing much faster than retail sales overall. U.S. ecommerce sales will jump 15.5 percent in 2014 to $304.1 billion, according to data from eMarketer, compared to 3.7 percent for non-e-commerce sales.

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Cynthia Osterman