Monday, April 29, 2013

Who Says No One Shopping ?

Adam Bernhard still have the scars that he slept on the couch when he started the company three years ago - right across from his desk in downtown Los Angeles office of HauteLook. At the bottom of the stairs, the maze of studios, photographers and stylists to shoot high-end skinny jeans and slouchy bag that makes Bernhard luck.

Unexpectedly, a fortune in retail. It is no secret that over the past three years, the retail category was drunk - and no part of more than a luxury. But during that time, a new generation of entrepreneurs has sprung up and took the opportunity: They picked up an abundance of luxury and create a membership only, sample sale website that brings excitement door-buster sale online , with prices as much as 80 percent off.

To say that the site has become the hottest retail area understatement almost silly: While second-quarter sales at brick-and-mortar luxury and department stores increased 4.5 percent from a year earlier disappointing, taken HauteLook sales 275 percent. Private online sample sales category generated $ 1 billion in revenue last year, and some say it grow to $ 8 billion over the next five years.

All sites - the first is Gilt Groupe in November 2007, followed by HauteLook and Ideeli - Target consumers crave what they can not afford and love nothing more than bragging rights and being exclusively. Launched sales every day and typically run only 36 to 48 hours, which turned out shopping event, and they train customers to check their inboxes every morning for fresh, new merch - and to purchase items They do not even know they wanted. While the actual elbow can not fly, at 9 every morning, hundreds of thousands of visitors whipped into a frenzy over $ 400 Carolina Herrera dress or $ 80 Chloe sunglasses.

Of course, the private sale site is not really private, they are open to anyone who signs up. But the membership of the illusion is strictly controlled to protect the image of the brand being sold, including Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and Christian Louboutin. Unloading goods at off-price stores could mean product languished on the sales floor for months, but a private flash sale site, the items are hidden from search engines and appear only for a number of people for a limited time.

Niche with dozens of players, from $ 500 million in startup companies still in beta testing. Venture capital flows - $ 112 million in the last six months alone. Clothing and accessories have proven to be extremely useful site expands to include furniture, hotel and cruise package, gym membership, gourmet food and wine. But as the excess goods become more scarce, they see the inevitable shakeout.

"The idea of ​​easy sales," says Sucharita Mulpuru, e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research. "It is getting access to inventory the hard part." And more than one site of inventory taking, risk more. "You're a retailer with goods that no one wanted in the first place."

That's why Bernhard doing things differently HauteLook: He did not buy the stock, generated sales of leading brand names and took 30 percent of revenue. Like other private sales site, HauteLook clean exhaust, but offer marketing support, resulting in a piece of video content with each designer. Bernhard Dashboard 2.0 software enables brands to follow their sales in real time to see what is selling, where the items are selling and what styles are selling in which countries. There is also a channel that allows them to see how many people go on sale and the ability to compare sales benchmarking against similar brands.

HauteLook, which is profitable since March, with 176 employees producing 205 sales in June, moving hundreds of thousands of items from the warehouses to the same shore. Revenues are expected to top $ 100 million in 2010.

Bernhard was spent many years in the garment industry, first as a kid hanging out at the office of his California Mart, the customer, and then selling floor at Fred Segal in Los Angeles. At that time, she had hair down to her waist. Now, her hair cut short and spiky gel cap with a reputable, his uniform of jeans, a brand that sells, including blazer and button-down Dries Van Noten for.

Before HauteLook, he was running errands in the business of film production, sharing and Mulberry Street Pizza executive posts at Stanford, contemporary clothing company. In 2004, the business part of the kick, and he created a company called Liquid8 license inventory, sample sales held by sororities at UCLA and USC. HauteLook flow of the project, but instead of asking your students to participate, he asked everyone. And now, it's 2.7 million takers.

We settled in to hear more about the future of retail - but not the old couch Bernhard.

Are you worried about launching the economy?

Every time there is a dramatic shift in the way business is done, a chance. Since we are in the business of a broker, we are beginning to see the value of inventory pile up. We also know the zeitgeist has changed. There is a stigma associated home with lots of shopping bags. Buying something at a discount with a badge of honor. People are talking about how they have deals with something that is contrary to how things are expensive. So we took a chance and changed the way people shop.

What is the advantage of click-and-mortar retail?

The main difference is scale - the ability to touch people in a different place is wonderful. Total infrastructure will need to have as many members as we have not perhaps brick-and-mortar.

We returned merchandise our site every night, so every day we have eight to 10 new sales. That enables customers to new discoveries every morning. They do not know they want to buy something, but we gave a show and we just happen at the end of the bargain. You physically can not do it in a bricks-and-mortar.

Goal-based shopping that occurs at, where you know you want something, put in a search term and buy it. I believe the future of online shopping is what we do, discovery-based.

What are the hottest merchandise this now?

Everything from premium denim with big name designers for fast mode. Our children and home business has grown dramatically. We sell Omaha steak. We have California Floral & Home - These are fake flowers, and our customers adore them. Tool. Who would have thought I could sell the couch? We sell kitchen, bed and bath, Rug from ABC Carpet & Home.

What works in terms of price?

Screaming, "Discount!" Goal when we started was not less than 50 percent. In some low-margin business, though, the various discounts. But customers realized it was because the goods are not sold very often. For beauty products, for example, we are making 35 percent.

And technology?

We have a shopping cart to start with a page of checkout. Three pages of the checkout is not good.

How can you HauteLook from the ground?

A negative working capital model allows us to grow without having to collect a lot of money. With Liquid8, we have infrastructure, overhead is minimal and profitable business that much capital for it. We wish to take advantage of cheap things to develop new ideas. But no one heard about in the industry. So I had to convince the brand. We build relationships HauteLook, and the first year, I ordered each sale itself. Now we have 30 people on the team brand, and we have over 1,000 brand partners.

Once you know it works?

As soon as we had our first few sales, we knew we had something special. The first is the Development by Erica Davies. The line is not there now, but that does not mean it is not a good sale. The second is the Rock & Republic, who is still working with us today. We brought Terry Boyle, our COO, in July '08. She put some infrastructure in place, and in April 2009, we raised $ 10 million in our first. This year, we raised $ 31 million. We are against those who raise $ 100 million. It can be done.

How? What is attractive to investors?

They saw it as the future. In this way detection-based shopping resonated not only with ready-to-wear, but also to all categories of travel in jewelry products at home.

Is there going to be a shakeout or consolidation between the flash-sales site?

The better players have more items to sell will continue to pull away from the pack. And I believe the multi-category player will survive. If you find makeup in your inbox every day, it is not so enticing.

If you are all competing for the same customers?

There's a lot of crossover. But as people know if their store Nordstrom, Saks, Macy's or Bloomingdale, occurring in a flash-sale. We stand for California casual. Our customers believe in a great pair of jeans takes you anywhere. They are open to the stylish, designer Handbags and watches, designer shoes or something that resembles a shoe designer. Nordstrom and Bloomingdale, where they put us. Gilt can Bergdorf Goodman. I would also love to Fred Segal. We can sell all the same brand as the other people out there, but we did it this way California-casual style more along than exclusive, and it is important to us.

How do you get the message?

Are two friends who tell two friends and grabbing blog and retell our story. I do not have a marketing team for 18 months. We bought Google ad words and costs about $ 20,000 per month, being frugal, trying to find different ways to get the message. We owe it to the business blogosphere.

How can you convince top selling brands HauteLook will not tarnish their image?

We encourage brands to make only three or four times a year. And if they can move the stock to us in eight days, it is much better than putting the floor to store off-price day after day. Manufacturers are looking for flash-sale format as a way to protect their brands and reach a diverse customer did not reach before. We found that 75 percent of people who buy the brand in the end our website go to post-sale website brand, 50 percent have post-sale buying brand, and 20 percent purchased from the brand at full price post sales.

With brand partners are not you?

Über-luxury people who are not playing in the room. Some vertically integrated retailers have not jumped well. I love to see the Victoria Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew and Gap brand. Everyone is coming up with a new way of shopping.

When you start, there's a lot of excess inventory. Now, there's a slight excess.

Many. We have more brands that want to sell us than we have space.

What do you proceed?

Food and wine, experience and services, which include massage, gym membership, wine tastings and other matters related to relaxing life-style of our customers.

We also started to organize our customer's experience with geo-targeted offers.

Any advice for people who go to retail?

Do not!


I'm not bullish on retail right now - the economy is not stable enough to start something innovative. But if you have a new twist, go for it. If you have an idea and you are persistent, you can make it happen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Q & A: Tour Rome with Dennis Rodman and Popemobile

worm is on a roll. After a surreal North Korean dictator Bromance Kim Jong-un a few weeks ago, the NBA star Dennis Rodman and cultural peculiarities swept to Rome on behalf of the sponsor, Ireland-based gambling site Paddy Power where he posed for pictures on the St. Peter's Square., Word-spouting words of peace of the world, and generally cause, Rodman-esque bustle scene.Paddy Power has a long history of publicity stunts, which range from having a player during a football game drop trou Denmark to hold a giveaway for horse meat horse meat national scandal. In 2008, they came under fire for setting odds on the assassination of President Obama (for the first half: 12-1; immediately removed.) Bloomberg Businessweek caught up with Rory Scott, spokesman for the Paddy Power, which was on the verge of Rodman Dennis Rodman in the Vatican throughout the entire day.Why very random and strange twist of fate.? After his visit to North Korea, he is currently. We run a deal: If the Cardinals chose the first black pope, we will refund all losing bets. We put our necks on the line for over a million dollars. Pope betting is nothing new, old as the gathering itself. Dennis caught wind of it and thought it was pretty funny. He want to cast himself as an ambassador for world peace, so he said, "Look, I'm going to come to Rome, I talk about the weather, and I'll help you spread the gospel of Pope forecasts, "and kind of go from there. Wait, he came to you? We went to him originally. We heard that he wants to be ambassadors of peace of the world. Thinking is that if the cardinals chose a black pope, the world would be a better love and peace and kindness toward Rodman man.Why suitable for you in terms of marketing? It's a match made in heaven for our brand. Dennis is a curious and mischievous. He did not mind ruffled some feathers, and Paddy Power exact same.How can work with Rodman? I tried to give him directions, you know, about why we do it and why some people are candidates that we are rooting for the Pope. But he's a free spirit. This kind of planned show.We Dennis Rodman Dennis Pope comes to mobile. He was trapped in northern Italy as some snow, so a few hours late. It's a shame. It finally arrived, and we are on our way to the Vatican, but they shut down the main road, because it is relatively close to smoke. So we do not get enough magnificent entrance that we were expecting. But other than that, it has four crazy.We Security Guards in San Pedro Square because people are so excited to see him. This is a huge crush of people trying to get close to him. We did about a hundred interviews throughout the day, and everyone wants to talk to him. They wanted to hear about his trip and his meeting with North Korea Kim. Puts a smile on everyone face.Did publicity stunt translated into returning to your site? We certainly see a spike in articles around the world. Creates a little buzz, which nice.What Rodman reaction to the new pope? I think he was glad it was not Europe. According to him, they should give a chance to other continents. He was excited about the Pope Francis. He thought he was a humble man Francis, that is, not Rodman.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The American company is the unwitting accessory in China cyber attacks

In a growing conflict between China and the United States in a hacking attack, landscape Move, thanks to the 74-page report (PDF) by the security firm Mandiant who painstakingly outlines some evidence China insists that the best is yet to involvement in a series of attacks that built seven years. The current report answers many questions about the involvement of China, it has also raised new report issues.What particularly important about the apparent lack of sophistication on the part of the Chinese hackers. From the data, we conclude that the compromise China's computer just by sending targeted e-mail sending rude employees with a program that can control their machines remotely. This is essentially the same style of attacking virus writers used back in the 1990s. It is known exploits most security professionals and is one that is easy to guard against. Apparently, there is no need to use China's more advanced tools to compromise their targets.The U.S. government and companies operating in the U.S. must pause to reflect on the fact that this approach is so successful hacker big. (The report also provides numerous Chinese military to think about how they relate to operational security and how they can do better.) First reaction was shock and embarrassment. As we have more than emotion to take action, we need to proceed with caution and skepticism before we blindly swallow a proposed solution to this problem. Although it is understandable that the U.S. companies should get better defend against cyber attacks, the solutions proposed by the government officials too often convoluted based on new legislation that could destroy the freedom of the internet, all in the name of protecting us from our nation's newest ghost. Cybersecurity Act of 2012, for example, contains many of the proposed provisions, many of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others, thinks the government goes beyond the right to monitor private conversations. The good news is that most of the proposals were defeated, but they kept resurfacing in a different way to go too far and violate "the rights of citizens. What we really need to hold the company's technology for higher safety standards so they do not make the next version of the Java weak (ORCL) or non-secure SCADA system that is easy to grab, to allow control of industrial machines running our power plants and other critical infrastructure.Laws will never replace the real responsibility of the organization to make safety a priority, from the CEO down. Reporting security should be mandated, as in other aspects of the business such as financial statements. Regularly scheduled updates, the CEOs have to talk about the security fixes that were made in the organization, or of dangerous occurrences. CEOs do not need to be an expert on things more than they need to be an expert on how the product or service is developed from end-to-end, but they must define metrics and, more importantly, make sure that they have someone in charge of Payroll relationship of trust and security in accountability.Those senior manager to lead the safety culture of the organization and accountability, not only as lip service but as a factor that is not less important than the security of strong quarterly numbers. People do not easily show title.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Antivirus Software: Battle of the blame, not Hack

Craig Elliott, CEO Pertino, a cloud-networking startup, knowing that the use of antivirus software companies do not bother at all hacking attacks. That does not stop him from using it. "Safety blanket," he said. "CYA [cover your ass] more than anything else." That's why the antivirus industry, born in the late 1980s to fight the virus floppy-disk, durability, even in the era of sophisticated hacking from China and elsewhere.Although word virus is generally valid for all forms of computer attacks, data security pros are not only worried about the old-style virus program or piece of code that replicates and spreads from computer to computer, reducing their performance. The new threat: a sophisticated form of malicious software, or malware, such as online banking password stealers and military-grade spy software. Incidents such as the recent attack on the New York Times by Chinese hackers, who failed to stop the antivirus software, describing the challenges faced by industry leaders such as Symantec and McAfee. The disadvantage of the antivirus software that is designed to zero in on the so-called signatures, or patterns that can be identified in the code. When an antivirus company found a piece of malicious software, it adds a signature database, along with software upgrades delivered to the user. This approach applies to a more sophisticated malware arriving on the scene in the early 2000s. Now identify a piece of software attacks after the fact has limited value because the most advanced malware is custom-built for specific attacks and never used again. Now hackers prefer to infiltrate the network through e-mail and social media, which makes it difficult to see the attack. Times attack is thought to have begun in infected e-mail sent to employees. After the failed Times revealed that the Symantec software to determine the malware used in the offense, Mountain View (California) based company issued a statement saying that the antivirus protection alone is not enough to prevent sophisticated attacks. Symantec (SYMC) and Santa Clara (California)-based McAfee upgrade their security software to keep up with the hackers, such as adding a feature to block traffic crunch the data to determine whether an e-mail note or a Web site can be trusted. "The industry is likely to change quite dramatically," said Francis DeSouza, president of Symantec products and services. "We are seeing more malware than we have ever seen before, and we see more custom malware than we have ever seen before. Those trends have major implications for the antivirus industry. "Michael killer, chief technology officer for McAfee, which is owned by Intel (INTC), said that" the product is not a silver bullet. "Nevertheless, the company is not likely to throw their antivirus software. Even if they wanted to because of concerns about the cost or performance, many can not, said Amrit Williams, chief technology officer of Lancope, a company that sells software that scans network computers for malware. Retailers who accept credit cards, for example, must comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard antivirus protection orders. Chief executive of the security industry that does not require antivirus software can choose to buy them or risk their jobs if they go without it and get attacked, said Williams. Consumer and corporate purchasing software to combat the threat of online account for $ 8 billion to $ 66 billion in worldwide computer security technology spending this year, according to Gartner (IT). Another reason for the need for enterprise antivirus products are likely to remain high is that there is still the threat of more sophisticated attacks, said Steven Ashley, an analyst at financial services firm Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. The New York Times still Symantec customers, although "exploring other options," said spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. "Antivirus is an important element that will always be there," said Ashley. "Even a man walked into the office or facility is maintained, you will take a fence around it." At least one company, though, has done just that. Palo Alto Networks (PANW), maker of network security equipment, there is no official policy on antivirus software, said founder Nir Zuk. 840 employees are not required antivirus software on their machines, and the company uses its own network security products to defend against attacks. Most infections occur in the first 48 hours after a new piece of malware that was released before the antivirus companies can improve the customer, Zuk said, citing research conducted by the company. "I think there is value in the AV CTO least get rid of it," he said. "It's just that I think its worth, and the fact it only works on some machines, and the fact that finding a targeted attack or new, it makes me want to invest my money in a different solution" Bottom line:. Companies spend billions on antivirus software although it may be less effective in stopping the hacking attack.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

American Airlines repaints the aircraft-versed in many

The downside of creating a classic image of the brand that you can not change them without killing the image of a classic brand. And so gods.On Internet poking anger Thursday morning, American Airlines (AAMRQ) both do when launching a new flashy paint job for the airplanes. This, brave patriotic hot-rod replaced the classic airline, mid 20th century design once thought called the golden age of aviation, but has recently come to represent an industry struggling to adapt. Goodbye to The Aviator. Welcome to Team America: World Police.Gone the "Silver Bird" uniforms were introduced in 1967 (below), stripes of red, white, and blue, the word "AmericanAirlines" printed, Helvetica type, all polished aluminum aircraft, and "AA" logo with eagle deco design team conceived by Massimo Vignelli and Lella. The "New American" will show the word "American" in giant letters on the side of the logo, the new offset, with the American flag draped tails. Photo by Andrew Harrer / BloombergResponses ranged from confused to fading. Offering Twitter: "mercy - @ AmericanAir trash classic modernist icon logo - and 'repair' the only thing that breaks the airline woe"-Joel Spolsky, founder of Stack Overflow "The American Airlines new logo is hated by all man for sleekness, and new typefaces for blandness. "Change-Rafat Ali, founder Skift" America, only U.S. airline with a great logo, for something horrible. Painting their aircraft can not be far behind. "Will-Doig, editor of the international Next City" uppercase new logo AmericanAir @ ok, but others felt like it was trying too hard to be stylish, as confident logo Vignelli. "Paul Goldberger, architecture critic.When previous logo was conceived, it must convey a sense of professionalism and modernity. The new logo is in the midst of chaos. United went bankrupt in 2011 and reportedly courted by U.S. Airways (LCC) for the merger. Virasb Vahidi, American commercial director, explained makeover in a statement: "Our new logo and style that is designed to reflect the spirit of progress and the spirit soars, a unique American. The ... new tail, stripes fly proudly, is a reflection of brave Americans and the name "The Vignellis did not respond to requests for comment, but we are curious to know their thoughts ... "The life of a designer's life struggles against evil," says Massimo Vignelli in 2007 Helvetica documentary. It seems that this is a battle they lost.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Silicon Valley France Respect Some will

Jacques-Antoine Granjon, founder of Vente-long haired Paris, France is not pleased with a presidential candidate. "The Web is a goldmine for the job," said Granjon, 49-years to make Europe's biggest discount retailer online. "But politicians just do not get it." With the unemployment rate at 12-year high, the candidates made the cut unemployment as a life priority. But they do not say much about encouraging the creation of the next Facebook or Google (GOOG) in France. French Internet entrepreneurs make a decent contribution to the economy, according to a study by consultancy McKinsey. The report said the French Internet sector accounted for € 72000000000 ($ 94 billion) in gross domestic product in 2010 France. To 3.7 percent of GDP. Internet businesses have created 700,000 jobs from 1995 to 2010.Yet Facebook, Google, and Microsoft (MSFT) to do more to encourage the startup of the French government than, say entrepreneurs like Dan Serfaty, who initiated the Paris-based Viadeo, the European social network for the range both professionals behind LinkedIn (LNKD) to customers. The U.S. unit of French companies identify local star, supporting them with funds and technology, and export their ideas. "France has a very powerful ecosystem, it is packed with seed companies, innovative startups, engineers, and talent," said Olivier esper, Google policy adviser in France, where the company has more than doubled its staff in the last 18 months, 400. "Countries have actually turning point." This is the first round of elections held on 22 April, the top two competitors squaring on May 6. Efforts two front-runners' turns into a race for the tax. President Nicolas Sarkozy has revived a proposal to tax companies like Google, (AMZN), and eBay (eBay) against their French income, accusing them of "fiscal dumping", pay almost all taxes in a speech on April 5. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande plans to slap a 75 percent tax on all personal income exceeds € 1 million. "Employers can hit a bullet is more dispersed," said Marc Simoncini, founder of Meetic dating sites, in a post on Twitter after the "millionaire tax" announcement Hollande. Technology Startups expected more from Sarkozy, who created the National Council of the Internet in 2011 and has hosted such as Google, Facebook, and eBay at a conference on the Internet. To create the next Facebook or Twitter, France needs to keep investors happy, said Viadeo of Serfaty. "If you want your company to develop and not just be able to buy, you need business angels, venture capitalists, and the possibility for entrepreneurs to get their business listed on the stock market," said jean Ferre, head of platform and ecosystem development in France for Microsoft . The candidates who took a different approach. In his first major campaign speech, Hollande said that financial "biggest enemy." His French startups often have no choice but to sell. Axel Springer acquired the site French real estate advertising in 2010, while Japan's Rakuten France PriceMinister buy, sell used goods. Tariq Krim, Netvibes sold the company Dassault Systemes software (DSY) two months ago, says France may lose talent startups can get more foreign competition, and the London and Berlin proved better in attracting workers. As the industry moves more heavily on low-income countries, the politicians would do well to court technology startups instead on their way, said Granjon. "Internet afraid of the politicians," he said. "The new, and they are having trouble keeping pace with it. The Company does not vote, so politicians are just not interested in their "bottom line: France now $ 94000000000 tech business industry, but we have presidential candidates pay little heed to the needs of employers.