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BrandAlley asks shoppers to turn buyers

Discount etailer Brand Alley has launched a section on its website that allows shoppers to decide what items should be produced for sale.

Le Lab, which launches today at www.brandalley.co.uk/lelab, allows designers to create their own profiles and showcase their collections. Any of the 2 million UK BrandAlley members can then vote for items they like and, if one item receives 2,000 votes or more, it will be put into production.

Five designers were registered for the launch but there is no limit to how many can join up.

In September BrandAlley tested the idea in collaboration with not-for-profit organisation Fashion Enter, with a competition to find the perfect Little Black Dress.

Marketing director Melissa Littler said the feedback demonstrated that customers liked to have a say in what they saw on the site and to be able to buy something individual. She added that the popularity of particular categories or styles could influence buying decisions in the future.

She said: “We’re all looking at this and seeing what demand is. This will be another source of information and will help inform our management buying decisions.”

Similar concepts have previously been launched by Fashionstake.com, which gives users a chance to invest in up-and-coming designers at New York Fashion Week, and US vintage etailer ModCloth, which also lets shoppers vote for which clothes should be produced.

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