Belle & Clive is Bluefly Inc.’s answer to the flash-sale marketplace.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The site is set to launch today.
According to Melissa Payner, president and chief executive officer, “We have long-standing relationships with so many brands. The way we buy for Bluefly is around outfitting and dressing from head-to-toe.…Belle & Clive is about individual specific brands. We select a curated assortment from a number of brands that our consumers have shown interest in.”
The Belle & Clive site will host designer events around noon each day, and feature brands and styles not available on other sites, according to a spokeswoman.
Payner explained that after 12 years in operation, the company has substantial data points on how customers shop and what types of shopping experiences they respond to.
“Some browse [at Bluefly] and use shopping as a relaxing experience. They learn about fashion and get tips on how to put things together. Others love the idea of the urgent, stress-filled moment when their favorite brand is available.…Then we have the crossover shopper who [does both],” she said.
Both sites are operated separately, and Bluefly shoppers will have to opt in by registering at the Belle & Clive site in order to start receiving e-mails about daily flash sale events.
Payner said Bluefly isn’t daunted by the competition in the flash sale world. The site will be competing with a host of existing operators: Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Rue La La and HauteLook, to name a few, as well as Saks Inc.’s new flash platform FashionFix, Fashion Vault from eBay and MyHabit at Amazon, and the latest entrant, Vente-Privée USA.
“From our research, we know [a lot] about our consumers. Others started with no history. We have all kinds of history behind us about this customer within in our files,” Payner said.
She explained that the firm has been testing different timed events on its Bluefly site and has extensive research on how consumers have responded to them. The test events will be used in different ways at the new Belle & Clive site.
Belle & Clive will feature the same merchandise categories showcased on the Bluefly sister site: men’s and women’s apparel, women’s accessories, footwear and jewelry. Some of the brands available at Belle & Clive will not be available at Bluefly. While there is some leveraging of operations, the two sites are operated independently and are run by separate executive teams.