When we met Delphine, she was juggling between two private sales events: a successful 3-day pop-up store organized with Storefront in Wellington Street and the second at their new permanent location in the heart of Central.
Two French Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong
OnTheList was created in January 2016 by Delphine and Diego, two French entrepreneurs. Following the model of Arlettie sales in Paris, OnTheList is the regional pioneer in the concept of members-only flash sales of luxury and affordable luxury brands past collections. They started by holding one event per month and are now running a sale every week.
How OnTheList Works
Members of OnTheList receive invitations by e-mail announcing the featuring brand for the next sample sale. During the pop-up event, members can buy last seasons products from well-known brands with up to 90% off their original price. Finding great and exclusive deals is what attracts customers to come to each event. Every pop-up features a different brand: a great way to retain customers.
OnTheList has succeeded in convincing brands such as Armani, Marc Jacobs, Vilebrequin to take part of their pop-up private sales. For brands it’s a great way to sell off their stocks from past collections: “It’s a very easy and quick logistic process: brands send us their stock, we set up the shop one day before the event, we run a 3 to 4 day pop-up event and we send back what has not been sold to the brand directly” says Delphine, Co-Founder. This is a lean and outsourced business model that has been proven to work very well.
OnTheList began hosting private sales by renting short-term space with Storefront. “It was the most convenient option for us as rents in Hong Kong are way too expensive and landlords require long-term contracts” explains Delphine. Pop-up stores were found to be a good way to test their concept and locations at the same time: “Our customers are happy to discover new places each time and it allows us to test locations and see which ones are working better for what kinds of population and brands” adds Delphine.
To support their events, OnTheList puts great effort on marketing their pop-up stores. Every channel is used from emails to social media including Facebook and Instagram. They also created a base of 100 top members that receive private invitations through Whatsapp and have access to products before other members. “We started by communicating on our events through the expat community and local lifestyle blogs like Sassy, but our strongest communication channel was word-of-mouth. Currently, 80% of our customers are Hong Kongese and 20% are foreigners living in Hong Kong.” reports Delphine.
Some New Perspectives
A few days ago, OnTheList signed a long-term contract for a two-floor premium space in the heart of Central. “We are running more flash private sales event each month and needed a permanent space for clients to come instinctively, easing up logistics for us at the same time” reports Delphine. This new permanent location is more of a destination for clients than a high foot traffic street and that suits perfectly the needs of featuring brands not to be over exposed during the event.
In conclusion, Delphine comes back on what they could take out of their use of pop-up stores: “it’s a great tool for brands launching their activities. It’s very flexible, economical and allow you to test your market”.
No doubts that OnTheList has great days coming ahead.