May 3, 2011, 10:47 AM

Private sales debut at Amazon.com

Amazon takes on such established flash-sale players as Gilt and HauteLook.

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Amazon.com is following the lead of such private-sale fashion retailers as Gilt Groupe, HauteLook and ideeli with today’s launch of MyHabit.com.

The site will offer products from fashion labels such as Vera Wang, Elizabeth and James for up to 60% off retail prices, along with free four-day shipping and free returns. Consumers who return items will receive a credit redeemable at the site, Amazon.com and the retailer’s Endless.com site that sells shoes, handbags and accessories.

MyHabit.com will feature daily deals on women’s, men’s and children’s clothing that begin at 12 p.m. Eastern time each day. Shoppers can navigate the site by department and brand.  

Amazon says the site, which will launch at 12 p.m. Eastern time today, will feature 360-degree videos of the clothing on live models to enable shoppers to better understand how the clothes appear in real life. Product pages will also feature detailed product descriptions, images and a zoom feature to allow consumers to view product details.

"MyHabit gives fashion customers an elegant and easy-to-use online destination for private-sale shopping," says Maria Renz, president of MyHabit. "Couple that with a curated selection of the best brands, free shipping and free returns, and new features like 360-degree video footage, and MyHabit sets a new standard in service, convenience and product presentation."

Renz, who has worked at Amazon since 1999, previously was vice president of shoes, jewelry and watches at Amazon.com and Endless.com.

HauteLook CEO Adam Bernhard says Amazon's move shows the appeal of online flash sales. "It’s clear that consumers have embraced this new way of shopping, so we’re not at all surprised to see the major players trying to respond," Bernhard says. "Amazon is a great company, and we welcome the competition and the opportunity to grow our business with an ever-expanding audience. As one of the most established players in this space with thousands of strong brand relationships, we’re focused on delivering the best HauteLook experience possible to our millions of members.”

Hautelook, No. 191 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, was acquired earlier this year by Nordstrom, No. 29 in the  Top 500.

Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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