Established retailers such as Nordstrom Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. made news by acquiring flash-sale sites Hautelook in 2011 and Woot.com in 2010, respectively, but the market for fashion flash-sale sites remains wide open. Los Angeles–headquartered e-commerce retailer LuxeYard recently stepped into the field with LuxeStyle, its flash-sale site for fashion. LuxeStyle’s points of difference are a concierge service that lets consumers suggest sale items and a roster of designer advisers.
“We’re only at the beginning in reinventing how retail operates,” said Steve Beauregard, the site’s chief operating officer. LuxeStyle hopes to carve a unique niche with tools such as its concierge service. With the concierge, consumers will be able to lobby the site’s buyers with specific requests by uploading a photo of a garment they’d like the site to carry. LuxeStyle’s buyers will source the product and produce a special flash sale if a group of consumers requests the same garment.
LuxeStyle also will offer vintage pieces from iconic fashion houses such as Chanel, Gucci and Lanvin, as well as contemporary and emerging brands such as Velvet, Michael Stars, Yoyo Yeung, Frankie B and Petro Zillia. Frankie B founder Daniella Clarke will consult the LuxeStyle buying team. Petro Zillia founder Nony Tochterman will also be among a group of “trendsetters” who will post news of their favorite picks and products on the website. Other trendsetters are E! news host Giuliana Rancic; Courtney Capretta, designer of the Capretta fashion label; and stylist Lindsay Albanese.
Flash-sale sites typically sell specific items at deep discounts, and site members make their purchases during the scheduled sales times. Retailers such as Macy’s Inc. and juniors brands such as YMI produce their own flash sales, said Deke Jamieson, executive vice president of YMI. “All of the business on the Internet is about the deal. The flash sale is a great incentive for driving traffic, but in another couple of months it will be something else,” he said.
Yet these sites can build bonds with consumers, said Stephanie Ghanem, a law student from the Los Angeles area and a flash-sale shopper. “They all represent different designers and have different user appeal,” Ghanem said. “Consumers get really comfortable with websites, and they tend to be loyal to a select few.”—Andrew Asch