Business

Amazon launches private-sale website

Amazon.com  launched a new private-sale website Tuesday, becoming the latest online retailer to offer limited-time deals on designer clothing.

The new site, called MyHabit.com  , promises discounts on high-end brands beginning daily at 9 a.m. on the West Coast.

On Tuesday, for example, MyHabit offered a Doo.Ri women’s halter dress for $398, down from $995, and Saurette girls sundresses for under $50, rather than the regular $79-and-up price tag, giving shoppers until Friday morning to make a purchase.

With MyHabit, Seattle-based Amazon enters one of the fastest-growing segments of the fashion business. The four top “flash-sale” websites – Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, Ideeli and RueLaLa – were projected to generate $900 million in 2010, according to eMarketer.

These sites thrived during the recession as shoppers became more bargain-driven and brands had an excess of inventory they were willing to unload online for short bursts of time.

Another Seattle-based retailer, Nordstrom, announced plans in February to buy Los Angeles-based HauteLook for up to $270 million in stock.

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