April 16, 2009

Net-A-Porter and The Outnet: A brief introduction

Despite the economic downturn, some etailers continue to diversify and expand. One such online boutique is the famously stocked, famously edited, and famously expensive Net-A-Porter. Net-a-Porter carries a range of premier and mid-level designers, many of whom were not previously available to purchase online. They house the official online boutique for ChloƩ, though you can often find better sale prices on the websites of luxury department stores.
Still if you are searching for a specific piece or just eager to browse beautifully selected stock with accompanying in-house editorial, NAP is your website. They take careful measurements of every garment, and have unparalleled information on fit. This is crucial in an online shopping context since you cannot try on merchandise and sizes are so variable even within the same line. They take gorgeous photos from various angles so you know exactly what you are buying. And because of their excellent reputation and customer service, they are among the most respected etailers in the luxury shopping business and in fashion news coverage.

The items that sell out at full price on NAP are fodder for fashion writers in the blogosphere. The original content on Coutorture, one of the first online fashion website networks of which I am a member, looks to NAP's inventory as a barometer of trends in shopping and style.
If you have ever placed an order (even for a sale item) with NAP you know why they are regarded so highly. The iconic, decadent packaging of black tissue, hard black boxes, and lightning fast shipping are reminiscent of the meticulous customer service from a department store shopping experience of yesteryear.
They recently launched a wedding boutique that was the exclusive carrier of Carrie Bradshaw's Vivienne Westwood wedding gown from the Sex and the City Movie (which sold out in minutes, despite its hefty $10k price tag).
And today, they launched their affiliate outlet website, The Outnet.
Months ago, with much hype and anticipation, Net-A-Porter announced that they would soon launch an outlet website where discount designer shoppers could find decent prices on ex-NAP stock. Well, today that website went live. In addition to carrying moderately discounted stock that was previously housed on the sale page of NAP, www.theoutnet.com includes a Flash Sales page which promises to eventually have "Going, Going, Gone" sales of incremental discounts that correspond to the time the item is available for sale (aka, the longer something is available, the deeper the discount will become), 72 Hour Pop Up Sales (inspired by Gilt, Hautelook, Ruelala, and their ilk), and Giveaways of merchandise. Now that the background of NAP and the context of the Outnet have been established, I can hypothetically shop the Outnet in tomorrow's entry. I'll see what kind of deals are available for savvy shoppers.


May Kasahara said...

I'm kinda really excited about this.
but my wallet isn't.

Sonya said...

Omg omg omg. FINALLY.

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

May K, my wallet is also not excited but I AM!

Seriously, Sonya! I feel like I've been waiting for MONTHS because I have been! :)


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