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Daily Daze

Daily Daze

Porn Star Jenna Haze Teams Up with Daily Desire to Launch a Flash Sales Site for Sex Stuff

(Photo: Twitter)

Last time we heard from Jenna Haze, the infamous porn star was performing unspeakable acts on blissed-out, ripped male costars. Now officially an ex-porn actress, Ms. Haze has harnessed the same enthusiasm it takes to give a good BJ and transitioned it to the business world, partnering with startup Daily Desire, a “lifestyle flash-sale site created for the adventurous consumer with a penchant for high-end sexy luxury products and brands.” Read More

Daily Daze

New Web App Conveniently Unsubscribes You From All Those Annoying Daily Deals Emails

Ms. Pische (Google+)

Daily deals were on the rise last year, and for a few heady months everyone got really excited about them. Groupon’s copy was still cute and quirky and hadn’t yet begun to tip over into cloying; 2-for-1 skydiving lessons were still a happy novelty; this reporter even interviewed for a Google Offers copywriting gig (and no, she didn’t get it).

But then came that faint gloom cloud, and suddenly the daily deal business model was being called into question. And frankly, it got really, really tiring to delete emails from Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers on a regular basis for coupons we would occasionally buy and then never use.

That’s why we’re thankful for Unsubscribe Deals, a new web application from a “recovering lawyer” named Edwin Hermawan and a West Village waitress named Lea Pische. In one easy step, the app connects to your Gmail account and automatically unsubscribes you from the deals emails you signed up for, including Groupon, Amazon Local and Daily Candy. Read More

Daily Daze

Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson On Hiring His First CMO, Scaling Up, and ‘Gossipy Tech Blogs’

Mr. Patterson via @jetsetdrew

Today, Jetsetter, the luxury vacation deals site (think flash sales on villas in St. Vincent or a pied-à-terre in Paris) announced the appointment of its first-ever chief marketing officer, Barry Herstein. A former CMO at PayPal, American Express, and the Financial Times Group, most recently Mr. Herstein was responsible for revitalizing Snapfish, the photo sharing and printing service, after a decline in revenue growth.

(Ex-Snapfishers seemed to be everywhere these days. Former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson recently set his sights on reimagining an Ivy League experience at half the cost.)

Betabeat chatted with Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson about the need for a CMO, Jetsetter’s role within the Gilt Groupe family, and those pesky tech blogs. Read More

Daily Daze

Deal Sites Selling Deals On Deals Sites: Google Offers Discount on Design Discounter One Kings Lane

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 10.41.46 AM

Betabeat received a very meta treat in our inbox this morning: a link to this Google Offers deal sent along by a tipster who appended the Kanye-esque hashtag #salesonsalesonsales. The Google deal apparently offers a 50 percent discount to buy items on One Kings Lane, which is itself a discount site that offers sales of up to 70 percent on items like household furniture and accessories. Read More

Daily Daze

Flash Dance! Luxury Flash Sales Sites Regroup After Layoffs

kevin ryan

Around 4 p.m. on a recent Thursday, all but 14 of the employees of the members-only luxury e-commerce site Lot18 got an email asking them to report to the new conference room for an urgent meeting. The remaining employees, including the vice president of operations and director of operations, received an almost-identical note but were asked to report to the “alt” conference room instead. They were told they were being let go, asked to leave the building immediately and instructed to return on Saturday to clean out their desks.

The survivors were shocked by the layoffs, which came a day earlier than planned due to inquiries by Betabeat. Lot18, which started with private sales for wine before moving into full-price wine and epicurean deals, has raised a total of $44.5 million from investors—its latest round spearheaded in November by the highly regarded Accel Partners. Lot18 also moved into a new office over the summer that features a tasting room, mounted LCD screens that pop up a buyer’s location on a map every time Lot18 sells a bottle and a permanent DJ booth. In its one-year existence, Lot18 launched several new verticals, bought Paris-based e-commerce site Vinobest, and announced a foray into Europe.

To industry insiders, the scenario sounded familiar. Mass flash sales—deep discounts that expire usually after one to three days—had been touted as the first real innovation in e-commerce in years, and start-ups that applied the flash-sales phenomenon to the luxury market had investors salivating. But the former venture capital darlings suddenly seemed to be hemorrhaging employees. Earlier this month, another site, Boston-based Rue La La, slashed 60 of its 550 employees after months of growth.

Suddenly, the question is being asked: Could flash sales for the well-to-do wind up being more of a marketing gimmick than a business model? Read More

Daily Daze

Layoffs at Gilt Groupe Complete: 90 Employees Let Go, Gilt City Closes Offices in Six Markets

gilt_groupelayoffs

Gilt Groupe’s 900-some employees can rest easy, for now. In response to questions from Betabeat, the company confirmed this afternoon that the recent spate of layoffs is over. CEO Kevin Ryan initially estimated that about 50 people would be let go, however, the total number of layoffs across Gilt Groupe’s businesses “ended at 80-90.”

In a statement, the company said, “We don’t foresee additional layoffs at this time.”

Betabeat heard word Friday that part of the restructuring would involved shutting down certain markets for Gilt City, the company’s location-based deals service that offers discounts on luxury events and experiences. In the statement, Gilt Groupe confirmed that it will be closing its offices in six secondary cities “effective immediately,” namely San Diego, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta. “We have not been as successful in smaller markets and the resources they require take away from growing our core business,” the company said.

Prior to this move, Gilt City operated in thirteen markets, so this represents a significant reduction. Going forward, Gilt Groupe said it will be “servicing those smaller markets through a centralized sales force.” Read More