What is HauteLook: Everything You Need to Know

What is HauteLook: Everything You Need to Know

HauteLook is a member-only shopping website that offers flash sales and limited-time events on women’s and men’s fashion, jewelry and accessories, beauty products, children’s clothing and toys, and home décor. 

With new sale events every morning, HauteLook offers discounts ranging from 50 to 75 percent off retail prices. Nordstrom owns and operates HauteLook, which was founded in 2007.

About HauteLook

Adam Bernhard, a serial entrepreneur and former senior vice president at Joie clothing, founded HauteLook in December 2007 in Los Angeles, California. While working at Joie, Bernhard noticed a market for off-price products that were either in excess or leftover merchandise and launched the site liquid8usa.com. He renamed the website HauteLook and launched it in Los Angeles with four employees in 2007.

Nordstrom paid $180 million in stock for HauteLook in March 2011. This is the first time a traditional retailer has purchased an online private sales company.

Bernhard left his position as CEO of the company in October 2013. He will continue to serve as an advisor to HauteLook, and President Terry Boyle will continue to lead the company, though no new CEO will be appointed.

HauteLook launched nordstromrack.com in May 2014, an e-commerce site and mobile app built on a shared platform that allows customers to shop Nordstrom Rack merchandise alongside HauteLook flash sale events, with HauteLook offering more luxury retail items than Nordstrom Rack.

In August 2018, hackers stole data from over 28.5 million accounts and sold it on the dark web. Email addresses, bcrypt hashed passwords, and names were all compromised in this security breach. In February 2019, the security breach was discovered.

How Shopping Works on HauteLook

What is HauteLook

Every day at 8 a.m. Pacific, long before many west coast retail stores open and trophy wives tote their toy dogs into Rodeo Drive boutiques, millions of women get their hands on gorgeous fashions, chip home decor, and dream getaways, and they do it from the comfort of their modestly furnished homes for up to 75% off.

Check out some of our HauteLook shopping tips.

The Gist

Hautelook is a members-only online retailer similar to Ideeli, Gilt Groupe, and others, but distinct in its own right (more on that later). Signing up takes less than a minute and gives you access to women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel and accessories, home products, beauty products, and getaways. Sorry to say but there are no spa trips or food discounts here.

The Events

Every day at 8 a.m. Pacific, sale events begin. HauteLook lets you know about upcoming sales up to three days in advance. However, while you will get a sneak peek of the event, you will not be able to see what items are for sale until the event begins. Many getaways are an exception to this.

The Convenience

HauteLook distinguishes itself from many other retailers by making it simple for you to shop (which may or may not be a great thing, depending on how you look at it). When it comes to sites like these, there’s a lot of value in getting to the items quickly so you can buy them before they sell out. 

As a result, HauteLook allows you to narrow your search by size, style, and price. To really up the stakes, HauteLook allows you to shop on your preferred mobile device while receiving alerts.

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The Purchase

HauteLook is actually part of the Nordstrom family, which provides benefits to customers through an improved return policy and payment options. HauteLook accepts credit cards, PayPal, and BillMeLater payments. Return clothing and accessories for a refund or store credit. Return shipping is free if you choose store credit. It will cost you $5.95 if you pay in cash.

The Society

If you like HauteLook and shoes, you should join Sole Society, which offers a personalized selection of designer shoes for less than $50. There is no obligation to buy, and your purchase includes free shipping. Oh, and HauteLook members receive a $10 discount on their first purchase (yay!).

The Caveats

When it comes to shopping at HauteLook, there are a few things to keep in mind. To begin, keep in mind that your purchase will most likely not ship until a few days after the sale event has ended. 

Prices do not change during sales, which typically last two days. Another thing to consider is what HauteLook means by “hold” items. This indicates that the item is in another shopper’s cart but has not yet been purchased. Hold your breath, because if the shopper does not purchase it within 15 minutes, it will be re-sold.

Nordstrom Acquires Flash Sales Site HauteLook

HauteLook: Everything You Need to Know

Nordstrom has acquired flash sales site HauteLook for $180 million in Nordstrom stock and a three-year earn-out of up to $90 million in one of the largest exits in the flash sales business so far. HauteLook has raised $41 million in venture capital.

HauteLook has grown to 4 million members since its inception in 2007 thanks to the enormous popularity of members-only online sample sales. The website hosts massively discounted sale events for women’s fashion, men’s fashion, accessories, children’s clothing and toys, travel, home, and beauty.

The basic concept behind the flash sales model is as follows: designers and retailers, such as Marc Jacobs and Versace, place excess inventory on a sale site at 50 to 70 percent off for a few days. The sales are private and only available to members, with upcoming brand sales announced via email. You can receive invites from other members or request them through the site.

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The Competition

The flash sales market is highly competitive, and HauteLook’s sale price is not entirely surprising. RueLaLa was purchased by GSI Commerce for $350 million two years ago. Gilt Groupe has raised massive sums of money while rapidly expanding its user base and turning a profit. 

Gilt raised another $15 million in December, bringing the company’s total funding to nearly $100 million. The brand was once valued at $400 million, but that figure has undoubtedly increased over the last year.

One Kings Lane has also recently raised a significant amount of money and is rapidly expanding. And there are a number of independent players, such as Ideeli, BeyondTheRack, and others, that are still expanding rapidly.

The concept has even attracted retail titans such as eBay, Saks, and Neiman Marcus, who are now jumping on board to offer their own private sales, a market into which Nordstrom clearly wishes to enter. I wouldn’t be surprised if other larger retailers acquire niche, smaller flash sales sites in the coming years.

And that’s all we have on HauteLook. Hope this article was helpful and informative.

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