HauteLook Sets Its Site on Home

Kecia Hielscher

Kecia Hielscher

LOS ANGELES–The online private sale and auction business—a retail model that virtually didn’t exist just two years ago—continues to grow in home and HauteLook is one of the players making that happen.

As with many of its competitors—all of whom feature name brand goods at a discount, available for a limited amount of time to members—HauteLook focuses primarily on fashion apparel, but since moving into home 18 months ago it has watched that category boom.

“It’s one of our fastest growing areas,” said Kecia Hielscher, vice president of home for the Los Angeles-based company.

The site, which launched in September 2007 and now has two and a half million members, has held more than 2,000 sale events with more than 900 brands.

Since moving into home in January of last year, HauteLook has held more than 230 home events with over 160 home brands.

Hielscher said her company differentiates itself from the competition—which includes Gilt, One Kings Lane and Rue La La, among others—by having a “more West Coast chic aesthetic.”

HauteLook also features what its calls the dashboard, an online readout that allows sellers to see their results in real time, with specific demographic breakouts of customers.

“We help them market their product,” Hielscher said. “We create a video for each brand.” About three-quarters of the site’s members are buying brands they’ve never owned before, she said, and 75 percent of them say they will consider buying that brand again after this initial purchase.

She said that rugs and furniture, as well as home accents, have been selling well, especially in contemporary styles. Food, wine and other consumables are targets for expansion.

The key to HauteLook’s appeal is its ability to “accentuate the chic,” she said. “The product needs to be enticing and it needs to be sexy.”