March 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

Nordstrom enters the fashionable private-sale space with HauteLook

In a deal worth at least $180 million, high-end department store chain Nordstrom is acquiring HauteLook and joining the fast-paced e-retail fashion world of limited-time, private sale deals.

High-end Nordstrom, a department store that encourages leisurely browsing, is joining the fast-paced e-retail fashion world of limited-time, private sale deals.

In a deal worth at least $180 million, Nordstrom Inc. is acquiring HauteLook, a members-only online retailer which offers flash sales of fashion apparel and lifestyle products. HauteLook will keep its management team and web site,

"This acquisition further enhances our focus on serving customers online in new and compelling ways," says Nordstrom president Blake Nordstrom. "While our focus on providing a superior in-store shopping experience is in our roots, continuing to find ways to use technology to serve customers the way they want to be served is critical."

Nordstrom says it will buy HauteLook, which launched in 2007, for $180 million in stock plus up to $90 million in incentives if the flash sale site meets certain goals.

During sales that typically last for 48 hours, HauteLook shoppers can snag discounts of 50% to 75% on apparel, beauty products, and items for home and travel.

"By joining forces with Nordstrom, we are giving customers a fuller range of options for the way they shop today," says HauteLook CEO Adam Bernhard. "Our established membership base of well over four million shoppers is closely aligned with the Nordstrom customer. We feel fortunate to partner with a company that shares our commitment to providing customers with great brands and an exciting shopping experience."

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