Are You Sleeping on Online Shoe Clubs?
Picture a hybrid between Netflix and Match.com that instead of sending a DVD each month according to your profile, sends a sexy pair of platform stilettos. That’s what online retailers like ShoeDazzle, JustFabulous, Sole Society Inc., and ShoeMint are shaping up to be.
To get started, members register on the sites for free and take a fashion personality quiz to determine their style preferences. Then, on the first of each month, members log in to their accounts to view a limited, customized boutique of shoes designed in-house by a team of high-profile celebrities and stylists which they can purchase for as little as $39.95, including shipping. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“This is fashion of the future," Kimora Lee Simmons, told the LA Times. She recently signed on as president, creative director, and an investor for JustFabulous, Inc. "It speaks to the modern-day woman's budget and lifestyle."
You may have ignored the JustFabulous.com commercials when they interrupted your TV favorite show, but in addition to the big-name fashionistas behind these companies, they are also bringing in big money. JustFabulous, Inc. has gained more than 4 million members nationwide since its launch in March 2010 and boasts $5.5 million in monthly sales. The company expects to sell 2.5 million to 3 million pairs of shoes and handbags in 2012.
Not far behind is ShoeDazzle, co-founded by Kim Kardashian in 2009. In May, the Santa Monica-based company said it had more than 3 million members and the site is expected to branch out to 10 other countries next year after raising $60 million from investors.
While some members have complained that its annoying to have to opt out by the fifth of the month if they don’t wish to purchase shoes at the time, overall the new retail model is widely appealing for shoe lovers due to its convenience, affordable pricing, and individually-tailored fashions.
“Not everyone has access to a stylist, but we can be a stylist through that technology and hopefully recommend the right products," said Josh Berman, chief executive of BeachMint Inc., which operates ShoeMint. "Rather than going to Amazon or Google and typing 'shoes' and having thousands of things to choose from, what we're learning is consumers like to be curated and shown what is hot."
Have you joined an online shoe club?