CNN announced on Thursday that it will refresh its largely outdated and seemingly forgotten-about online store later this month. The news was hidden in a press release otherwise entirely about Underscored, CNN’s new digital shopping guide.
The online store is also getting an extension as CNN is branching out into non-branded items. According to a CNN spokesperson, the items include “a variety of gadgets (speakers, headphones, connected devices, accessories) and software (e-Learning, apps, software, photography, developed security software).” These items, however, will be “sourced through a partner,” again via a CNN spokesperson.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the store will feature a variety of CNN-centric items. The previous store had t-shirts, mugs, and hats and a CNN spokesperson confirmed those items will remain. However, new items like “vests, jackets, bags, insulated water bottles” will be making their way to the store as well.
As for keeping the online store fresh, CNN, at least for now, is projecting an aura of commitment and regular maintenance. The spokesperson said that branded items will be changed quarterly and non-branded based off popularity. This will be a stark departure for a site that still boasts merchandise for CNN International’s slogan from 2013. The spokesperson also boasted that the website will change based off “different shopping seasons and will be more personalized.” All signs indicate that the CNN online store is getting a significant upgrade and becoming a much higher priority for the Cable News Network.
Since the store refresh was noted in the same press release as Underscored, there was some question as to whether the two would be linked. The CNN spokesperson denied that there is any link and said, “CNN Underscored and the CNN Store are separate entities. If a product on the CNN Store were to appear on CNN Underscored, it would have gone through the same process of the ‘three Rs’ or else we would not recommend it.” The “three Rs” refers to Research, Reputation, and Recommendation, a metric Underscored uses when evaluating products.