HauteLook spins off shoe club Sole Society
The for-members-only shoe club has been spun off from Nordstrom-owned HauteLook as a separate company, company officials said.
Based in Los Angeles, Sole Society was launched in March as a sister brand to HauteLook, a rapidly growing "flash fashion" sale site that sells designer goods at deep discounts for a limited time. Nordstrom acquired HauteLook in March for up to $270 million in stock.
Sole Society members register for free on the e-commerce site and fill out a "style bio" questionnaire to determine their style. They then receive a personalized selection of six "designer-quality, on-trend" shoes to choose from each month and receive the pair of their choice, typically for $49.95. Sole Society has nearly 500,000 members.
"We're an early-stage business and we need 100% focus," said Andy Solomon, chief operating officer of Sole Society. As a standalone business, Sole Society can "really be nurtured and the right decisions can be given to it."
For shoppers worried about committing to a pair of heels without first trying them on or seeing them in person, Sole Society provides a free return shipping label with every shipment. And members are allowed to opt out if they don't feel like receiving a new pair of shoes that month.
"Everyone has very busy lives these days and they don't always have time to get to the mall," Solomon said. "One of the great trends with online shopping is personalization and curated commerce."
Company officials declined to disclose the financial terms of the spin-off or provide sales figures for the 9-month-old brand.
-- Andrea Chang
Image: Screen shot of Sole Society's website.