Calvin Klein has launched a new e-commerce component to the brand's website, enabling US shoppers to buy its merchandise there.

The new site brings together almost all the categories currently available under the Calvin Klein "better" line of men's and women's clothing and accessories, plus homeware.

However, items from the Calvin Klein Collection and the ck Calvin Klein items will not be available.

The new online presence is designed to complement the ten freestanding Calvin Klein-branded "better" retail outlets, which have opened in the US since November 2007.

Visitors to the new site from outside the US will be taken to the company's global branding site.

Calvin Klein said the new site would be supported by advertising campaigns and promotions to drive seasonal traffic - such as a September programme offering the chance to win a US$1,000 online shopping spree.

"We have been observing and studying branded e-commerce sites for the past several years," said Tom Murry, president and COO of VF Corporation.

"I feel that our team has had the benefit to learn from the challenges and successes of others, and that they have created an exceptional site that will be a great branding platform as well as an important revenue producer for many years to come."

Direct-to-consumer initiatives such as the e-commerce site were "an important component for the future growth of the brand", added John Walsh, president and COO, Calvin Klein Retail.

"With ten speciality stores now open and operating, we are excited to begin phase three of this initiative with the launch of our e-commerce site," he added.