Holiday Shoppers Find Luxury
More Affordable Online
(ARA) - If you’ve been anywhere near a mall lately, you can’t help
but notice the holiday shopping season has arrived. The parking lots
are packed and there seem to be people everywhere.
Gay Reese of Scottsdale, Ariz., used to be one of
the faces in the crowd, spending the weeks between Thanksgiving and
Christmas racing around town looking for gifts, but not anymore.
She’s now among the growing number of Americans who rely on the
Internet for something they can’t find in stores: good bargains on
luxury gifts. “Unless you live in or near Manhattan, you’re not
going to find discounts on designer brands in a retail store. For
me, shopping online is the next best thing.”
More people than ever before are expected to shop
online for their gifts this holiday season, due largely to its
convenience and competitive pricing. “People are becoming more
comfortable shopping online, and this time of year, they want to
avoid the big crowds and long lines, so the Internet is a convenient
place to go,” says Abha Bhagat, a senior analyst with Nielsen Net
According to a Nielsen Net Ratings eSpending
Report, online spending jumped from $11 billion in 2001 to $13.7
billion in 2002, a more than 24 percent increase. “Shopping online
also allows you to make price comparisons without having to run
around town. People like that,” says Bhagat.
If last year’s sales figures are any indication,
traditional gifts, such as toys, books and music will do well again
this year. Analysts also expect to see a jump in spending on high
ticket items such as consumer electronics and designer clothing.
“Luxury items make great gifts. They make the recipient feel
special, and a gift of quality is always welcome,” says Ken Seiff,
CEO of Bluefly.com. “But luxury isn’t just for the super-wealthy
Bluefly.com is one of the few places consumers
can find designer men’s and women’s apparel online, at discount
prices. “It wasn’t so long ago that people were hesitant to shop for
clothes online, but we’ve made it easy for them -- and at discounts
of up to 75%, we’ve made it very affordable,” says Seiff. “Not only
does shopping on the Web offer round-the-clock access and safe
transactions, our customers know they’ll find what’s hot and in
fashion featured on our site.”
Bluefly’s recently redesigned Web site allows
consumers to shop by designer, category, price or size. There are
pictures posted with each item along with detailed information about
the designer. “The site is easy to navigate. Shoppers can zoom in on
the merchandise to see details, and for shoppers who aren’t exactly
sure what they want, there’s a keyword search function that can help
them narrow down their choices,” says Seiff.
So what will the hot sellers in apparel be this
year? “I think cashmere sweaters, leather and suede items, shearling
and faux shearling, designer handbags and designer boots are going
to do well. They all make great gifts,” says Ellin Saltzman,
Bluefly.com’s fashion director.
Saltzman also notes that luxury home accessories
are expected to do well this year. Bluefly.com offers cashmere
throws, 600 thread count cotton sheets, placemats, pillows, and
crystal glassware all at competitive prices.
For more information on Bluefly, call (877)
BLUEFLY or log onto
www.bluefly.com. You can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to providing shopping assistance and personal
recommendations, Bluefly's customer service representatives (called
Flyreps) are available to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(EST) Monday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Flyreps also provide technical support and take orders over the
Courtesy of ARA Content