18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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AnnTaylor, Inc. and ANN INC. are the parent companies for Applicant, Annco, Inc. (collectively, “Ann”). Since 1954, Ann has served as a leading specialty retailer of women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories. For nearly 60 years, Ann has enjoyed significant popularity for its fashionable and high-quality merchandise and its position as a trusted personal stylist for women. The Ann mission has been to inspire and connect with women to put forth their best selves every day. This is evident in Ann’s great brands as well as in its commitment to operating its business responsibly and thoughtfully. This commitment means that the Ann client can look great and feel great about the clothes she wears, and it means that as a business, Ann holds itself to high standards. Ann forges strong partnerships with its suppliers so that products are made ethically, and it invests in new programs and innovation to minimize its impact on the environment.
Ann and its core brands, “LOFT” and “ANN TAYLOR,” have achieved worldwide fame for the quality of products offered through Ann’s e-commerce channels and over 900 retail stores. As a direct reflection of its worldwide popularity and quality of product, Ann saw net sales totaling $2.2 billion in 2011, $2.0 billion in 2010, $1.8 billion in 2009, and $2.2 billion in 2008
Recognizing the potential of the .loft gTLD as a trusted namespace and its ability to enhance Ann’s brand and already robust e-commerce platform, Ann has decided to file this application and bring the .loft gTLD to market. To this end, the intended mission and purpose of the .loft gTLD is to serve as a trusted and intuitive namespace for consumers to view LOFT products and information, interact with peers regarding LOFT offerings, and purchase authentic LOFT products at trusted and secured sites.
Ann is still analyzing potential options for the type of second-level domain names that it will use within the .loft gTLD in order to best develop a namespace that will foster an intuitive, trusted, and marketable environment for Internet users and consumers while having access to authorized content and up-to-date brand information. To achieve this goal of a secure and trusted environment, Ann will operate the .loft gTLD as a closed single-registrant registry to ensure that all second-level domain names operating within the gTLD will be controlled by Ann and its affiliates.
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