The New York Times:
Dozens of flash sites are now catering to niches, be it Zulily (children’s goods), One Kings Lane (home furnishings) or JackThreads (men’s wear). At the same time, a new crop of members-only sites that look just like flash sales (they send daily e-mail blasts and dangle items for a limited time in glossy virtual storefronts) has emerged. Except that these sites don’t offer deep discounts. In fact, they don’t offer discounts at all.
“We never even considered ourselves a flash-sale site,” said Jason Goldberg, chief executive of Fab.com, a member’s-only site that resembles a flash sale but is, as he put it, a “lifestyle shop” filled with vintage housewares and the sorts of clever items one might find in the Museum of Modern Art gift shop or on Etsy.com. It’s “very different from the T. J. Maxx and Filene’s Basement bring-it-online model,” said Mr. Goldberg, whose company recently announced it had raised $105 million in new financing.
Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist, an author of “Gen BuY” and chairwoman of the psychology department at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, said Fab was catering to what shoppers crave. “Yes, it helps that it’s a good price,” she said, “but I think their ability to cultivate a collection that’s really appealing and unusual appeals to what’s been missing in shopping for a while: that feeling that you’re going on a treasure hunt. That’s long been one of the primary joys of shopping for people.”
Read the whole story:More of our Members in the Media >