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Pedestrians pass in front of a Nordstrom Inc store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, USA, on Friday, March 20, 2020. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg)

Nordstrom drops HauteLook, moves flash sales to rack business

Pedestrians pass in front of a Nordstrom Inc store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, USA, on Friday, March 20, 2020. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg)

Nordstrom Inc is phasing out the HauteLook brand it bought years ago and will move flash sales into its Nordstrom Rack discount store, the latest attempt to streamline the department-store chain.

HauteLook, known for its quickly expiring deals on clothing and accessories, will be integrated within Rack and its app, the company said on Thursday. Nordstrom didn’t provide a timeline for the shift.

(Photo: APK Combo)

“Our flash sales remain an important part of our offering and provide customers with newness and a sense of discovery,” Nordstrom said in a statement.

The company acquired HauteLook for US$270 million in 2011, and the founder, Adam Bernhard, stepped down as the business’s CEO in 2013. Retail rivals have also dabbled in flash sales, including Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Co, which acquired Gilt Groupe in 2016 only to jettison the business within three years. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc sold its home-decor flash sale site One Kings Lane last year.

Adam Bernhard, HauteLook chief executive, and TV personality Whitney Port attended a Fashion Week party in New York in February 2010. Bernard sold HauteLook for US$270 million in 2011 and stepped down as the business’s CEO in 2013. (Photo: Wall Street Journal)

In a presentation to investors, Nordstrom executives outlined a plan to massively expand its selection of products, aiming to shake off a slump that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer Erik Nordstrom said on the webcast that the company is targeting US$17 billion of annual revenue in the medium term, compared with US$15.9 billion in sales during fiscal 2019. The rack will be a major part of this push, as executives seek to grow the discount business by US$2 billion in incremental sales in the long term.