Really now. . . how many L.A.M.B. purses, seasonless Hugo Boss dresses, and gourmet cheeses can anyone afford these days? Apparently, not too many….
BetaBeat reports that several luxury flash sale sites have sustained substantial layoffs in the past few months, including Gilt Group, the American imitator of Ventee-Privee. The article gives a heads-up on what’s what at many of the top, and not so top, flash sale sites. Are they retail flashes in the proverbial pan, or will they have staying power over the long haul of our recessionary times??
Honestly, I signed up for Gilt, Hautelook (owned by Nordstroms), Ideeli, and several others in order to see what was under the hood, so to say. And here’s my take: they’re boring. Item offered on a continual basis are handbags, shoes, shoes and handbags. Maybe some jewelry, maybe some cute underwear (perhaps not in my size.) There may even be clothing from time to time, but the really good items sell out quickly–or there aren’t any good items to begin with.
The thing is, shopping, for me anyway, is a way to satiate that old hunter-gatherer instinct. There’s something incredibly satisfying about getting out of the house to go hunting and gathering–so much more funthan pointing and clicking. Sure, I can send something back if it turns out not to be what I want, but I’d rather make that decision before an item gets into my home. Once an item crosses the threshold, I don’t want to concern myself with packing it up and sending it back, even if the return shipping fees are paid.
The appeal of luxury flash sale sites must be to the suburban McMansion owner who works long hours, lives off credit cards, and believes that status is conferred on those whose wardrobes are branded with big names. Because, honestly, in small towns we don’t really care about status brands. And in big cities, status brands are, literally, just around the next corner.
If you really feel the need…
As our economy shifts, the suburban McMansion owner may no longer have the spare credit rating to own a litter of L.A.M.B. handbags, let alone care about the status conferred by private vineyard wines and artisanal cheeses.
So, who knows what the long-range is for these sites–some may last, and some may fold. But since I really enjoy the tactile sensation and hurly burly of hunter-gatherer shopping, I think I’ll spend more time at the malls and outlets and ditch my “memberships” to these sites. That certainly will cut down on my daily spam intake for sure.