It starts with an e-mail: an enticing invitation to do some secret shopping. Take the bait, sign in and you get a welcoming e-mail that boasts of “Little-known secrets, chic finds, off-the-beaten-path destinations. . . .”
What shop-till-you-drop type could resist?
Soon, very soon, you start receiving regular e-mails with subject lines like the following:
Now Open: Tahari by ASL Private Sale Boutique
Now Open: Kay Unger Private Sale Boutique
Now Open: Judith Jack Private Sale Boutique
To take the Judith Jack e-mail as an example, open it and you discover that the boutique opened May 27 at 11 a.m. and will close the next day (today) at 12 p.m.
And that is the gimmick. These specialty online boutiques are open for a limited time, and that is another something irresistible to serious shoppers.
This concept is so unique that it seems worth it to quote from the “Who We Are” page on the Rue La La Website. Rue La La, incidentally, is from whence these e-mails come. Quoting now:
“Rue La La is an exciting new division of Retail Convergence, Inc., a portfolio of e-commerce companies leveraging a common technology platform, customer database, and management team to revolutionize online shopping.
“We are people who love shopping. We are seasoned experts in the retail world who bring passion, experience, and a fresh perspective. We’ve built the connections required to negotiate private sale prices on some of the most sought after brands in fashion and home. And we have the exacting standards required to present only the best-edited collections.
“We are people who love style, whether it’s a well-delivered retort, a perfectly frothed cappuccino, or the star offering from a favorite runway designer.
“Above all, we are people who love discovery. It’s the unexpected that pleases us the most. Something new, different, whimsical. A fresh twist on a classic. A find that surpasses expectations and just begs to be shared.
“(Oh, and we are people who think we can have it all at fabulous prices.)
“Our dream is for Rue La La to become the place where your ooh la la moments spring forth at every turn, the spot where your desire for the exceptional is fulfilled every time, and the destination that you just can’t wait to share.
“We thought it was high time for a shopping revolution.”
And there you have it: Something new under the retail sun. In time, we shall know whether or not the concept is successful, but I would like to tip my hat to Rue La La for thinking up a new idea.
As you well know, these are tough economic times. Maybe something new will bring shoppers into your store just as these clever e-mails took me to these online boutiques. If you would like an invitation to Rue la la, send me your e-mail address.