Amazon will shutter its MyHabit fashion site
April 25, 2016 01:25 PM
MyHabit, the fashion flash-sale site Amazon.com Inc. launched five years ago, will close at the end of May, a spokeswoman says. Amazon, the No. 1 e-retailer in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, says it wants to simplify its offering. Amazon declined to comment further.
MyHabit sells high-end fashion apparel and accessories at a discount, with sale events launching daily and generally lasting 72 hours.
It is the latest evidence that the discount-driven flash-sale e-retail business model—a byproduct of the 2007-09 recession that had consumers cutting back and left manufacturers with excess inventory—is running out of steam. Earlier this month Canada-based flash sale e-retailer Beyond the Rack laid off two-thirds of its staff and filed for creditor protection after failing to secure a buyer. Beyond the Rack, established in 2009 and No. 190 in the Top 500, has seen zero sales growth in the past three years, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
In February, Hudson’s Bay Co. (No. 75) acquired Gilt Groupe Inc. (No. 69), a flash-sale e-retailer once valued at $1 billion, for $250 million. Gilt’s web sales slid about 5% last year, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
Other e-retailers that made their name using the flash-sale model are working to evolve. JackThreads.com (No. 209) operated primarily as a flash-sale site for men’s fashions from 2008 to mid-2014, when it began moving toward a more traditional model of selling branded apparel and private-label goods that are available for extended periods rather than a few days. Last fall it debuted a fully redesigned site that eliminated all traces of its flash-sale past. JackThreads’ 2015 sales increased 30% from 2014, according to Internet Retailer estimates on Top500Guide.com.
While Amazon is shuttering MyHabit, it still has multiple other web properties through which it sells upmarket apparel. These include its East Dane and Shopbop subsidiaries, and increasingly through Amazon.com. The number of clothing and accessories SKUs on Amazon.com grew 87% from Q3 2014 to Q3 2015, accounting for 6% of all products available on the site, according to an estimate from investment banking firm R.W. Baird & Co. Amazon also in the past year began selling its own private-label apparel lines. Last month, Amazon debuted “Style Code Live,” a 30-minute program streamed live five days a week that covers fashion news and trends; viewers can click from the show to buy the products on Amazon.com.
Amazon last year said 40 million consumers had bought apparel on Amazon.com. In the flash-sale space, the e-retailer continues to operate Amazon BuyVIP, a flash-sale site selling deeply discounted fashions to consumers in Spain, Italy and Germany.