Further evidence of shoppers' taste for a bargain came this week with reports that venture capital company Balderton Capital has taken a stake in Achica, the members-only homewares sale site.
Achica stands alongside Vente Privée and Secret Sales in the members-only sales market which seems to have been doing strong business. While Vente Privée and Secret Sales both sell homewares from their sites, the main market for both is in fashion.
Achica specialises in homewares only – and seems to be prospering from the strong market for upmarket labels at knockdown prices. Promising members that it will allow them to “create your luxury lifestyle for less”, the site holds time-limited sales of leading lifestyle brands with up to 70% off. Recent sales have included brands such as Anglepoise, Elle Interiors, Chanel and Missoni.
Like Secret Sales and Vente Privée, the Achica site aims to create a buzz around sales that start at 7am and can sell out fast. The advantage for retailers and brands is that they dispose of excess stock relatively discreetly and without harming their premium image, while potentially attracting new followers of their products.
Where Achica has led others appear to be following - today Amazon announced that its membership-only fashion site MyHabit.com would now include homewares as well.
Recent figures from the IMRG suggested that shoppers are now migrating from the high street online in order to find goods at lower prices in a time of economic weakness.