Former Snap exec Imran Khan takes aim at Amazon as retail site Verishop goes live

The wait is over.

A new retail website, called Verishop, is going live Tuesday, with the goal of bringing “joy back to online shopping,” as it goes head-to-head with platforms like Amazon.

Last November, word leaked out that Imran Khan, who had been Snap’s No. 2 executive until he departed in September, was developing some sort of website. A few months later, the e-commerce platform had a name — Verishop — and a mission to relieve some of the frustrations up-and-coming brands have expressed regarding existing sites that have counterfeit products or that hurt brand integrity.

Khan, who worked in the banking industry for a decade before he joined Snap, is being helped in this effort by his wife, Cate Khan, who worked at Quidsi when it was owned by Amazon and cosmetics giant Avon.

“I think our vision is to be the best home for brands,” Khan said in an interview ahead of the launch. “Whenever the consumer is looking for branded product, we want to be their first destination. … There is massive growth of direct-to-consumer brands.”

Khan said many brands, like home-decor company Hawkins New York and denim maker AG, “need an outlet,” where they can all be discovered together in one place.

“While there are a lot of choices in physical retail stores, there are not a lot of choices in the e-commerce space.”

In many ways, Verishop aims to be a high-end and online version of a department store. And that’s at a time when traditional department store chains’ bricks-and-mortar stores are struggling.