Flash-sale site Ideeli will drop the last letter from its name — officially becoming Ideel today.
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The name change is just the most outward in a series of moves being made in the wake of the company’s $43 million acquisition by Groupon in January.
The site, which has about seven million members, was also redesigned in February and is expanding the breadth of its category offerings. Men’s, home, accessories and footwear are expected to grow significantly, and the plus-size sector will be an area of increased focus.
“We’re turning Ideel into a lifestyle brand and shopping destination,” said Lisa Kennedy, Ideel’s president, and vice president and general manager at Groupon.
The site hosts 35 to 40 sales per day, starting at 11 a.m. for “first row” members and 12 p.m. for everyone else. The company’s tag line, “Style Everyday,” illustrates Ideel’s move away from a fashion-focused e-commerce site to a style and lifestyle destination.
Kennedy said hundreds of thousands of consumers shop with Ideel over the course of the year and that the site is already delivering double-digit year-over-year growth. She declined to give sales projections, but expects similar increases to continue through 2016.
Overall, the team has added 150 brands to the site, including Rachel Zoe, Max Mara and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Plus-size product is going to get special attention and investment.
“What we were hearing from the plus-size consumer was that she really wanted [fashions] to be shot on a model that looked like her,” Kennedy said. “[So] we started to shoot all plus-size items on plus-size models.” Previously, extended sizes were available during regular sales events, but the looks weren’t featured with plus-size models.
The site now hosts dedicated plus-size events. There is a plus sale every Wednesday, but this will become daily in the fall. Ideel actively engages with four to five of the leading plus-size bloggers, who give weekly feedback to the flash-sale site.
The company is also bolstering its executive team. David Yassky will join Ideel as fashion director, Simon Black as chief merchant and Alain Demour as head of product and engineering.
And a loyalty program, Ideelist, will also be rolling out. The program rewards consumers with one point for every dollar spent, and shoppers get a $10 reward for every 500 points they earn. Users get 200 points for enrolling in the program.
Kennedy said building a strong international business will be a key part of the company’s strategy for next year, leveraging Groupon’s massive reach of more than 53 million active customers in 48 countries. The site will focus on five to six countries, but Kennedy declined to be more specific.
“What we are doing is defining off-price retail online,” she said. “We’re only at the beginning of seeing that mature. We might be at the end of phase one, but when I look at consumer shopping behavior on these sites, there is just so much runway for them.”