August 3, 2010, 3:56 PM

HauteLook finds its masculine side

Private sale site HauteLook has launched for sales of high-end men’s clothing.

Lead Photo

Private sale site HauteLook this week launched, a page within the retailer’s e-commerce site featuring sales of high-end men’s clothing brands.

The section will feature discounts on such brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, Penguin, Diesel, Splendid, Joseph Abboud, Donald Pliner and Ben Sherman, HauteLook says. It will offer 50% to 75% off men’s sportswear, denim and suits as well as accessories and grooming products.

“Our goal is to customize the shopping experience for our male members,” says Tim Davis, director of men’s merchandising at HauteLook. “On HauteLook, men will find everything they need to live a stylish life: modern suits, ties, dress shirts and watches for the workweek, and a variety of denim, casual shirts, cashmere, and swimwear for the weekends, all at great prices.”

HauteLook, No. 191 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, posted Internet Retailer-estimated web sales of $61.50 million last year, up 50% from an estimated $40.96 million in 2008. As of April, HauteLook said it had about 2 million members.

HauteLook’s appeal to male consumers follows in the footsteps of competitors Gilt Groupe, which launched its Gilt MAN site in October and Rue La La, which added in January a slew of new men’s apparel, footwear, sportswear and accessories brands and hired Jeffrey Snyder as senior vice president and general merchandise manager to oversee its men’s unit. 

HauteLook is one of a growing number of private sales sites, but is somewhat smaller than leaders Gilt, No. 140 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, which posted 2009 estimated web sales of $97.7 million and Rue La La No. 103, which is now owned by GSI Commerce, and along with its unit raked in an estimated $157 million in web sales last year.

Still, HauteLook is growing—receiving $31 million in funding in June and hiring three new executives just last month—including naming Davis director of men’s merchandising. In addition, the e-retailer appointed Arthur Lewis general merchandising manager and Vicky Kalish director of food and wine. In May, HauteLook announced a deal with celebrity-follower web site to promote its daily deals. 

A recent report from The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts members-only, flash-sale sites will continue to benefit from their ability to get items to market quickly while saving on marketing and customer acquisition costs thanks to their membership-based referral systems.

Rue La La and Gilt will each grow 70% to 100% in 2010 as the retailers expand their product lines, the investment banking firm predicts.


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