The Art Company of Spain has opened its first virtual store, and it got the first order only five minutes after its soft launch from a customer in Switzerland. The online shop is mainly intended to reach customers who don’t have an Art dealer close to their homes. Art and its sister brand, Neosens, are currently sold in about 2,000 stores managed by 1,300 retailers in 35 countries around the world.

The brand is already well-known and traffic on its new website, www.the-art-company.com, has been building up from the initial rate of about five orders per day, and it is expected to grow after the news is relayed by its six PR agencies around the world. Run under the tagline “Metropolitan Soul,” the home page features images of London scenes.

This communication campaign and others will be coordinated by Judith Climent, who has been hired as the company’s first marketing director. Climent, who previously worked for Timberland, reports to Jorge Hernandez, who joined the company in September 2006 to take care of international sales. He recently introduced the brand in Australia and Canada and he is now exploring Mexico and other markets in Latin America. In the USA, Art is already selling in Nordstrom stores.

Meanwhile the company, which shares production facilities in Spain with El Naturalista, has opened the first shop-in-shop for its Neosens brand in a French store, Le 78 in Paris. It plans to do the same in Barcelona.

The company was expecting to reach sales of €21.1 million this year, up from €17.8 million in 2006 and €19.8 million in 2007.