New York has this time honored tradition of sample sales. Earlier you had to be in the know of certain underground locations where one could snatch up couture at a huge discount. The word of mouth publicity attracted large number of shoppers to these locations. But sample sales have gone online and become a bigger phenomenon. The Gilt Groupe has definitely taken the lead in this field.
Today, Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson help men and women enjoy that “gilty” pleasure from the comfort of their own homes. Gilt Groupe, their luxury sample sale website, hosts 36-hour “flash sales” every day, featuring apparel and from designers like Carolina Herrera, Judith Leiber and Thom Browne. This facility is available for members only. The shoppers must first apply for membership, and once admitted, then receive daily e-mails announcing each sale.
The online shopping spree began on Nov. 13, 2007, with the inaugural Zac Posen sale. The high-end women’s apparel site has grown over three years into a go-to shopping destination for kid’s apparel, menswear, home furnishings and even vacations. They have now joined the group-buying bandwagon as well. Gilt now offers roughly 70 sales a week, and brought in an estimated $170 million in revenue in 2009.