Start-up spotlight: LuxeYard brings social aspect to flash sales
The Marina del Rey start-up (which will soon move to Culver City) is the latest newcomer to the rapidly growing flash sale marketplace, which includes One Kings Lane, Fab.com, Gilt and Rue La La. The site offers two new approaches to the usual for-members-only, limited-time sales: concierge buying and group buying.
With concierge buying, LuxeYard members can request items they'd like to purchase at a discounted price. The most popular product will be voted up and LuxeYard will then source either the exact product "or one known to be comparable or even higher quality," the company said.
Group Buy allows members to push prices down on certain items by using social media and networks to encourage others to purchase that product. The price is driven down if the product receives enough buzz. Everyone who purchases the Group Buy item will pay the final lowest price.
Chief Executive Braden Richter said the company was evolving the concept of flash sales by putting the sourcing and pricing of goods in the hands of consumers.
Flash sales were "originally designed to liquidate inventory; it was sort of born out of 2009," he said at a launch party Tuesday night at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. "I think a lot of the current flash sale companies are now trying to figure out what to do. We've come into it at a perfect time to create this next generation."
Like other flash sale sites, LuxeYard features a community of design professionals and stylists, dubbed trendsetters, who offer product recommendations and other advice. Trendsetters include Nicky Hilton; Daniella Clarke, founder of Frankie B Jeans; and designer Faye Resnick.
The site is free to join and launched with $3.5 million in financing from private investors; about 185,000 people had already signed up during the site's pre-launch beta phase. On Tuesday, LuxeYard averaged about five new members a minute, Richter said.
The company has about 30 employees and offers luxury home furnishings -- including furniture, textiles, cookware and lamps -- at 70% off retail. LuxeYard doesn't hold inventory or operate warehouses; instead, manufacturers ship products directly to consumers.
-- Andrea Chang
Image: Screen shot of LuxeYard's home page. Credit: LuxeYard