It’s a bit of a surprise that American Express has decided to join the flash sales bandwagon. No doubt there are huge success stories in the sector. The model developed by the Gilt Groupe, of private, members only sample sales, flash sites has been replicated with varying degree of success by several other online players. The number of sites offering shoppers luxury items at discounted prices has mushroomed all over and American Express might find it tough to create a space for itself in the crowded market. Amex hasn’t decided on a name for their site but it should be up and running by the end of this year or early next year.
Over the last few years Gilt.com, Hautelook.com and Ruelala.com have grown rapidly and hold significant shares of the market. These sites offer flash sales that generally last for a couple of days. They all offer up to 75% discounts on designer labels. All these sites claim to hold private sales for members only, but none of the sites charge any fee for membership. In fact there is no service or maintenance charge either. Anyone can become a member and the application of registration as a member gets approved in a day.
Amazon is another big name that has joined the race recently with the launch of their site called MyHabit.com. eBay had also launched their Fashionvault.ebay.com last year. These big names are established online players but in case of American Express the company’s profile doesn’t really match this trade. They are not revealing any details about the upcoming site. They have only said that the site will not be restricted to Amex card holder but will be open for everyone. French company Vent-privee.com who operate similar sites in Europe are developing the site for American Express.