Daily deals site moves into flash sales with online shop.
It seems that pedicures and restaurant meals just aren't enough.
Following in the footsteps of rival Groupon, daily deals site LivingSocial is venturing into hard products with the "LivingSocial Shop," a curated online store.
The move shifts LivingSocial--which is owned partly by Amazon--into the flash-sale business, putting it in competition with sites like One Kings Lane, Gilt Groupe, and fellow Amazon property Woot.com. The entire shopping experience will occur on LivingSocial's site and goods will be shipped directly to customers, without the need for vouchers or coupons.
The shop will operate on a consignment model, says LivingSocial shop director Emily King, with Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial running each sale first and then buying inventory to fulfill the orders. Merchandise will be clustered in "theme" shops, with each group available on the site for seven days.
Groupon Goods, launched last year, already accounts for 10% of Groupon's North American business, says AllThingsD, citing Yipit data. Yipit itself, which tracks daily deal sales, estimates LivingSocial's shop could bring in $200 million a year in revenue.
The store's first collection, Beach Bound, has 16 products for sale, ranging from a tent canopy to beach towels.The rollout follows a few months of trial sales, says King: "It's a national product so it's available to everyone on our site."
CAITLIN BERENS writes about business innovation and entrepreneurs. Before Inc., she worked at Billboard, SELF, and Better Homes and Gardens. She attended Drake University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. @CaitlinBerens