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Stylehopper managing directors Bart Lipski and Safura Rahimi, are photographed working in their east end Toronto office, April 29, 2011.
Stylehopper managing directors Bart Lipski and Safura Rahimi, are photographed working in their east end Toronto office, April 29, 2011.

Online Retail

Flash-fashion sites attract investors Add to ...

Before starting her latest venture, Dealuxe, Joanna Track made a name for herself building the Canadian lifestyle site Sweetspot, which Rogers Media acquired last year.

Many national retailers have yet to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon, Ms. Track noted, creating an opportunity to build an online destination for contemporary, mid- to high-level designer clothing. Dealuxe carries 40 brands, with items priced between $40 and $700.

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“The traditional retailers may not understand the Internet or the benefits as much,” she explained. “Sometimes the big companies get complacent; this will disrupt that.”

The flash-fashion site niche is certainly attracting investor attention:

  • Montreal-based Beyond the Rack received a $12-million (U.S.) financing commitment last July from Highland Capital Partners LLC and BDC Venture Capital Inc.
  • U.S. retailer Nordstrom purchased HauteLook for $180-million in stock this past February.
  • Gilt Groupe, based in New York and the industry leader of the pack, is valued at nearly $500-million (U.S.). According to The New York Times, it is considering going public next year.


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