RueLaLa.com Hits the Online Sample Sale Road!
RueLaLa.com is a new chi-chi high end online sample sale site that’s aiming to hit the same territory as Haute Look, Regent’s Secret, Gilt Groupe and other online sample sales.
What makes RueLaLa.com different is where and what it used to be.
What is it now:
Rue La La is an exclusive, invitation-only online destination where members discover premier-brand, private sale Boutiques– each open for just a brief window of time. The focus is an extremely tightly edited collection of sought-after fashion and accessories from the best brand names in the world married with helpful service.
While membership its free, it’s invitation-only. The members shape the community by inviting new members — even earning a $10 Rue La La Credit when each new friend joins and places their first order.
While the financial incentive isn’t new, perhaps the transformation from it’s former self will help reap the rewards that the collection of owners & participants are hoping to garner.
Originally SmartBargains.com — the online arm of Loehman’s stores, this site has been purchased and re-structured into something entirely different with an eye towards upscale ecommerce along the lines of the other upscale consumer sample sale websites. Structuring the site in a very time and member-limited framework,
Retail Convergance is a conglomerate of investors who hope to take the client files and business relationships with brands from Smartbargains.com and retool it into a much bigger entity with more cache and a heftier pay-off.
According to TheDeal.com’s post,
Dennis Baldwin, Reebok’s former marketing head , states the company will focus on partnering with the brands it does business with to help create new sites and different strategies to target potential customers.
“We are very bullish on e-commerce, it is a much more pleasant experience than it has been in the past, and there are a lot of macro trends that we think will drive its growth,” Baldwin said.
“By providing an exciting new shopping experience while vigorously protecting the integrity of our partner brands, Retail Convergence will elevate the e-commerce experience for everyone.” (quote courtesy of TheDeal.com)
RueLaLa.com will be taking aim at the viral marketing and social marketing trends that are out there (and new ones as they develop) to create new ways of reaching customers. The site hosts two-day “sale/events” featuring a single brand. The members are offered limited-time buying opportunities.
Members help create the social network of the site by inviting their friends and membership is invitation only as well as wait-listing the potential member who might not know anyone who is a member. One of the bonuses for members to invite friends is that they accrue $10 credits for each new member who purchases something.
SmartBargains was a healthy (and growing) business, but the key for Retail Convergence is in the direction of building new models to sell merchandise online. While the company is working on several initiatives besides to RueLaLa, it’s unlikely the company will launch any other sites this year, probably to test the waters and see how RueLaLa fares in this sticky economic climate as well as the other existing competition already existing.
SmartBargains client list is quite a different animal than the sample sale client. It will be interesting to watch this unfold.
Stick around, I am shooting to get more 411 on this site and the parent corp and how to make it grow.
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