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SecretSales to expand team as it repositions

Flash Sale site SecretSales is expanding its team as it repositions to a multichannel offering, newly appointed group trading director Melanie Cottrell has revealed.

SecretSales was sold to newly launched platform business Lifestyle Retail Group (LRG) for an undisclosed amount in August. Former Figleaves commercial director Cottrell joined the business six weeks ago to drive the businesses repositioning. 

“The vision is to partner and enable brands and retailers to create a global strategy for their off-price retailer and remove the challenges they face around systems and working in the flash Sale model,” she said. SecretSales plans to achieve this by offering a platform that is “brand-enhancing” for its partners. The model will operate on a “shop-in-shop basis” that can be managed either by the brands themselves or by SecretSales, depending on who owns the stock.

The new multi-channel offer will include a new marketplace, individual brand digital storefronts, consignment, wholesale, and physical pop-up shops across the European Union. To facilitate these changes, the current SecretSales team of 60 will be expanded, Cottrell told Drapers. A predominately buying-focused team will be complemented by traditional and online merchandisers.

Several new hires have already been made, including in CRM, ecommerce and digital marketing, as well as new operations director, Rob Southern.

Since the sale, the business has been led by LRG CEO Chris Griffin, former director of ecommerce at Superdry, and co-founder Matt Purt, former head of new business partnerships at Ebay. SecretSales co-founders Nish and Sach Kukadia remain on the board as advisers.

Cottrell said: “At the moment, the flash Sale business can be quite limited, and we are looking to expand that. The key shift for us is to think about things as a normal ecommerce platform would, [as regards] trading calendars, messaging and stories.”

Previously the thinking was “hand-to-mouth on weekly campaigns”, but now the site will operate on a more traditional trading calendar: “I think its fairly unique in how we’re taking it forward. We’re doing it in a brand-enhancing way, so it’s not looking like [product is] permanently on Sale. There will be good adjacencies and the brands will be displayed in a positive way with lifestyle images.”

The new site will launch later this quarter. SecretSales declined to reveal brand partners. 

Cottrell spent almost eight years at Tesco in merchandising roles, leaving her position as merchandising director in 2008 to join Figleaves. She spent three years at the lingerie as merchandising director before becoming commercial director in 2011. Cottrell left the business in 2014 and has been a consultant since 2016.

 

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