Ali Pincus Talks About Hunters Alley, the New Premium Used Goods Unit of One Kings Lane (Video)
Online home decor retailer One Kings Lane is debuting its first new brand today, launching a site aimed at allowing its users to sell items they own to other customers.
Called Hunters Alley, the move to facilitate the sales of premium used decor and furnishings is part of an aggressive growth plan begun last year that has included the expansion of its offices and staff to compete in its main business of offering a curated shopping experience. Current competitors include Boston-based Wayfair, which aims at less-high-end goods in the multibillion-dollar home goods market.
In moving to the consumer-to-consumer market — in contrast to its current business-to-consumer marketplace for flash sales of goods — One Kings Lane puts itself in more direct competition with e-commerce behemoth eBay.
In an interview yesterday, One Kings Lane co-founder Ali Pincus and CEO Doug Mack noted that Hunters Alley was created after some of its users clamored to sell their pieces on the site. They decided that a separate brand was needed to do so.
Under the new site, those consumers will create seller sites — vetted by and using handsome photographs orchestrated by Hunters Alley — to sell what the company calls “a mix of high and low, almost new and lovingly used, vintage and antique,” for 21 days. Customers can choose items by categories or seller, and can also explore goods in an editorially selected area called, yes, “Hunts.”
Sellers can use a self-service option to sell or avail themselves of the services of Hunters Alley, which then will take a commission based on the level of help, from 25 percent to 50 percent. Initially, sellers’ goods can only be located in California.
To help pay for the expansion, One Kings Lane raised $50 million at the end of last year, making the total funding to date $117 million. Investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock Partners and Tiger Global Management, as well as strategic investor Scripps Networks Interactive, which owns the television network HGTV. It has used the funds to grow its sales to several hundred million dollars annually, although the startup is still unprofitable.
Here’s Pincus talking about the new effort — which has already collected several hundred items to sell, and will debut in June — in a video interview I did with her at One Kings Lane’s San Francisco offices yesterday: