California-based fashion e-tailer Modnique has launched an Australian version of its designer sales site in a move to better compete with local online sales businesses.
The launch comes amid a global expansion drive for the business, which has seen it establish localised sites in Canada, Ukraine and Belarus in recent times, as well as in Russia in November last year.
Modnique said the expansion was “in response to rapid growth in revenues from these countries”.
“These sites provide a customised shopping experience with regional sales and promotions, prices in the local currency, improved shipping times and enhanced tracking, and customer support hours in local time zones,” a Modnique spokesperson said.
The business launched in 2011 and it ships to 150 countries. It specialises in offering luxury brand items for men, women and children that may not be available in every country.
Modnique said 55% of its sales hail from outside of the US, triggering the move to focus on localising customer experiences.
Brands currently available on the Australian site include Valentino, Just Cavalli, Versace and Jimmy Choo.
Each brand offers short-terms sales on the site for one to three days, with the site listing which sales will go live for the next few days. It says some items are up to 85% off the recommended retail price.
Retail Doctor Group director Brian Walker said despite Modnique being yet another international competitor on the Australian retail scene, he didn’t think it would “shake up retail” here.
He says big brands use sites such as Modnique as a “shopfront” to show new goods, short-run collections, distressed or clearance stock.
“The idea is they get in and get out”, he says.
He didn’t think local luxury retailers needed to worry too much, as he says research shows 90% of consumers seeking premium items want a “premium experience” to go along with the purchase of premium goods.
He says this means in-store shopping, customer service and the chance to touch and try the products first.
RetailOasis director Nerida Jenkins told SmartCompany Australians were fast adopters of online discount and coupon sites such as Groupon and Catch of the Day.
“The fashion savvy have also trialled early flash sites,” she says.
Jenkins says the early flash sale sites are reaching the end of their growth trajectory and are “starting to consolidate as they have struggled to secure the right inventory and deliver in a timely manner”.
Despite the challenges, she thinks there is still “plenty of room in the market for a serious luxe-flash site player that can offer the right product”.
“Modnique is clearly on an international expansion drive, and with its scale, should be well placed to succeed,” she says.
“If Modnique is able to bring a compelling offer to market, it represents even more intense competition for our department stores and underlines the gulf between our local online offerings and the increasingly sophisticated international ecommerce market.”