Amazon Hopes New Flash Sale Site is Habit Forming

May 04, 2011
George Anderson

Amazon is on trend. Well, at least it hopes it is with a
new flash sales site designed to outdo competitors, including Gilt, Hautelook,
Beyond the Rack, ideeli, RueLaLa, etc. is Amazon’s new membership
fashion site offering discounts of up to 60 percent for a limited time on designers
such as Doo.Ri, Elizabeth and James, Halston and Vera Wang. The site will feature
upscale fashion photography and 360-degree videos of models wearing sale items
(neat stuff). will also offer free four-day shipping on orders
as well as free returns.

"MyHabit sets a new standard in service, convenience and product presentation," said
Maria Renz, president of the company.

On its first day, MyHabit offered a Doo.Ri
shirt dress with a listed price of $1695 for $678, a Bed:Stu Crecy Boot for
men listed at $189.95 for $110; and a Saurette girl’s Maia Dress listed
at $106 for $53.

Ms. Renz told The Seattle Times, "Our intent is to be
a matchmaker between our customers and brands, and provide the opportunity
for brands to introduce themselves to a new incremental customer base."

Seattle Times
article pointed out that Amazon already has experience with two
flash sales sites it owns. Woot! offers discounted electronics and BuyVIP is
a Spanish website offering limited time sales to more than six million members
in Europe.

Discussion Questions: What do you think about’s prospects? What advantages or disadvantages do you see with Amazon’s offering vs. others in the fashion flash sales space?

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5 Comments on "Amazon Hopes New Flash Sale Site is Habit Forming"

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Paul R. Schottmiller
Paul R. Schottmiller
10 years 3 days ago

Working in Amazon’s favor is their core competencies and industry leadership in e-commerce.

The challenges for them with this offering will be relevance to consumers in the designer apparel and footwear categories and their ability to consistently drive profitable volumes in a space that acts more like niche or specialty retailing than mass retailing.

I like that they have created a separate Amazon Brand and enhanced the visual elements of the site experience, however, the main avenue to success will be product (including right designers) and pricing (that creates profit).

Tony Orlando
10 years 3 days ago

Amazon is a first rate company, and can move tons of product for some new designer or shoe company. I think it will continue to find new ways to move product from the manufacturer directly into the consumers hands, which unfortunately will leave more empty storefronts in the future. I think Amazon will leverage their consumer awareness factor, to convince more companies to post their new goods right to their website, which would bypass traditional outlets. It is a very fast paced and changing world we live in, like it or not.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
M. Jericho Banks PhD
10 years 3 days ago

Fashion is definitely not my area of expertise, but I’m reminded of a recent RW discussion of the sizing disparities between manufacturers that caused online purchasers of women’s apparel to order several sizes and return all but the one that fits. Since the “flash” in flash sales suggests not only limited time but limited selection, are and the others (none of which has ever crossed my radar screen) able to support this order-several-sizes practice?

Bill Bittner
Bill Bittner
10 years 3 days ago

There is almost nothing easier or less expensive than setting up a website. The advantage Amazon has over everyone else is their control of purchasing and distribution channels for getting the product into the hands of the consumer (and handling returns). The thing that impressed me was the simple integration with my normal Amazon account. I was able to sign directly into the new website using my Amazon credentials.

Of course with all the discussion of the Sony privacy debacle I find the ease both satisfying and concerning.

There is little risk and unknown potential, so why shouldn’t Amazon give it a try?

Kai Clarke
10 years 2 days ago

This is a premature question for this market. Driving fashion through a quick deal website seems almost a total paradox. Fashion is driven by a “cool” factor, not so much a price factor. Who is wearing what is more important than what it costs. The people in the know on fashion are not looking to daily deal sites to purchase their fashion wear, IMHO, but instead are driven to shop and physically enjoy the personal attention, and detail for fitting a high-fashion item.


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