The big Italian-based online retailer has launched an international e-commerce operation specializing in women's footwear sold at full price, called The platform offers a wide range of products by over 100 brands including Acne, Bally, Baldinini, Cesare Paciotti, Marc Jacobs, Sergio Rossi, Sam Edelman, Stuart Weitzman and René Caovilla, which can be bought by customers in more than 100 countries around the world.

As with the main website, localized versions of website are available in eight different languages. Customers can pay in four currencies – euros, pounds, U.S. dollars and yen.

The site also offers many shoe-related items such as books and shoe care products. It features articles signed by fashion personalities such as Arianne Phillips, the Hollywood-based designer who edited the layout of the website prior to its launch. Furthermore, registered subscribers get special services such as shoe repair and free shipments.

For Yoox, the new initiative was a logical development as shoes are its best-selling product category. While they also offer all kinds of garments and accessories, its various online shops have already sold some 4 million pairs of shoes in the past 12 years, including about 1 million pairs in 2011 alone.

Yoox started up in 2000 by offering end-of-season shoes and other fashion products that customers can mix and match, but is offering current products. Yoox subsequently diversified by launching The Corner, a special website of capsule collections of women's clothing, including green and vintage items. It now also hosts the international online shops of 31 different fashion brands, also selling their shoes.

Yoox has set up a dedicated team of about 20 people to run, but it will capitalize on the processes and the expertise of its integrated e-commerce platform, including the logistics. The company employs more than 500 people around the world.

Earlier this month the company reported a 9.7 percent increase in profits to €10 million on 35.9 percent higher consolidated revenues of €291.2 million for 2011, but its board decided not to propose a dividend to shareholders in order to finance its new development projects and its further growth.

In constant currencies, sales went up by 37 percent last year. Sales in North America grew by 41.5 percent to €59.7 million, or 20.5 percent of the total turnover, making the region Yoox' biggest market. It was followed by Italy at €59.7 million, while the rest of Europe generated sales of €141.6 million, with strong growth in France, Germany, the U.K. and Russia. Sales in Japan moved up by 47.6 percent to €19.8 million.

Excluding its hosting services, whose sales jumped by 54.8 percent to €78.4 million, the sales of its multi-brand online shops increased by 30 percent to €212.8 million. Seven new single-brand online shops joined Yoox' network last year, which already counted big names such as Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.