Gone are the days when shoppers dedicated to buying up discounted brand-name goods would have to sleep on the pavement overnight in order to get their mitts on the best bargains. These days bargain hunters in the know are seeking out membership to exclusive online clubs that allow them access to discounted brand name items not available to the general public.
Glamour Sales is one such company and the only one to have been started within Japan rather than from an existing overseas parent company. Launching in August of last year they now boast 130,000 members who are all drawn by discounts on designer clothing of anywhere from 50 to 80 percent and cosmetics from 20 to 50 percent.
To join, you must be invited by an existing member or by one of the site’s trend advisors. “It is in a way a club, making it invite-only, means that everybody is connected somehow and it becomes a community,” said Sabrina Watanabe, marketing and PR director of Glamour Sales. The 50 trend advisors are all fashion professionals, be it stylists, designers or make-up artists, who keep the buzz of the site alive by blogging and using Twitter to help members track current trends. And, of course, members receive newsletters with details of the latest discounts.
To cement this sense of community, Glamour Sales holds regular events for its members. In December, for example, members could attend an exclusive event at the posh restaurant Beige Alain Duccase Tokyo which is located on the top floor of the Chanel store in Ginza and receive exclusive Christmas cake and macaroons.
The brands the company sells are pretty high end, hot clothing labels such as Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Diesel and Calvin Klein; cosmetics include YSL, Givenchy and Giorgio Armani. Not stopping with fashion and beauty, the site also features discounts on other items like holidays, cars, restaurants and Riedel glasses.
While top-end brands are losing out on the high street at the moment, these Internet clubs might be a way for them to get through tough economic times. Teaming bargains with an online community that can both make you feel connected and give you style tips can only be a winning formula.