Lulus Black Friday

Lulus.com is firing up for the holidays.

The e-tailer’s set to elbow its way into what could be another promotional holiday selling season by joining the trend rather than bucking it to create marketing buzz around its brand. The company has plans to build on the VIP access program created ahead of Black Friday last year, by offering multiple deals for the entire month of November.

“The idea overall is to spread the joy of Black Friday throughout November,” said marketing vice president Noelle Sadler.

Lulus, which sells trendy clothing and accessories from its own label along with Lush, Billabong, BB Dakota and others, will offer sales Nov. 4, 11 and 18 in the lead-up to Black Friday. The promotion will be open to customers who have signed up to be VIPs. The sign-ups begin Nov. 1, which the company’s timed to the release of a YouTube video created by vlogger Aspyn Ovard highlighting her own selects from the sale offering.

The hope is that the influencer, with more than 2.9 million YouTube subscribers, will help drive traffic to Lulus as well as nab new customers for the brand. The company also beefed up its Google AdWords strategy to support the campaign.

Last year, the company saw 50,000 people sign up for the early VIP sale and hopes to at least double that this year, according to Sadler.

The company intentionally bought for the sales, with markdowns in the range of 40 to 90 percent off for VIPs. The focus will be on discounting items in top-selling categories for Lulus, such as dresses.

The strategy continues past black Friday with an early launch into its Cyber Monday sale on Sunday.

The Lulus strategy around holiday is a reaction to the broader shift that has taken hold of the industry in more recent years, which has seen more sales and earlier promoting around what had previously been heavy discounting limited to the day after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

“I think that it’s only going to increase, which is why we’re jumping in with our November Black Friday plan,” said Sadler, who views the promotions as a marketing opportunity for the brand. “If you just went to Target, you’re seeing Halloween decorations next to Christmas lights.”

She noted the backlash among some within the industry to the heavy promotional environment that’s overshadowed the actual holidays, but also tempered that from a business perspective pointing out that promotions across multiple days hedges against the possibility of incidents such as cyber attacks, which earlier this month interrupted service for businesses such as Twitter and Netflix.

Still, it’s a measured approach, said chief executive officer and cofounder Colleen Winter.

“Part of it is we feel like we need to partake in the sale extravaganza,” Winter said. “As a company, we’re not a sale-based company. We don’t want to become known for sales and that’s not really our direction.”

Lulus recently held a job fair with some 60 positions open, 35 of those in fulfillment. If all positions are filled, it would bring the Lulus workforce up to about 400. The e-tailer generally ships about 7,000 packages daily and expects that to triple in November and December.

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