Joanna Track is hoping to find the next sweet spot in Canadian retail.
The founder of influential trend-spotting blog Sweetspot.ca said the objective with her latest start-up, online fashion retailer Dealuxe, is to “disrupt” Canada’s online retail landscape.
The first step in blowing up the existing model came Friday when Dealuxe announced that it had hired Toronto agency Blammo (formerly GJP Advertising) as its agency of record.
“I’ve been a huge admirer of [Blammo co-founder and chairman] Alan Gee for a very long time,” said Track. “I spent over 10 years in the advertising industry, mainly at Ogilvy, so his was a name and reputation that I always admired.
“When we came to launch Dealuxe and I knew what Blammo’s focus was, I thought they’d be a really great fit.”
“Knowing Joanna and the success she had with Sweetspot, I was keen to be involved in anything that she touched in the next iteration of her career,” said Gee, who was also asked to sit on Dealuxe’s advisory board. “Seeing the growth in online retail, and especially online fashion retail, that’s what excited me.”
Blammo is currently overseeing an online media buy and will play what Track described as a “big role” in the online retailer’s social media strategy. “They’ve been a huge asset in showing us all the possibilities, and then coming up with some really fun creative ideas on how we’re going to utilize them,” she said.
The campaign is set to break April 4, slightly less than a month before Dealuxe’s May 2 launch.
Gee said Blammo’s work with Cougar Footwear has given the agency an “understanding of how social media improves and affects the way that women interact with fashion and retail brands.”
E-tailers, he said, have a much greater understanding than their bricks and mortar counterparts of how to deepen consumer relationships because they are in near-constant contact with their customers.
A self-described “start-up junkie” who launched Sweetspot.ca in 2004 (the site was subsequently acquired by Rogers Publishing), Track said she was drawn to online retail because of the dearth of Canadian players in the space.
“I love the idea of starting with a completely blank slate and figuring out what I’m going to turn it into,” she said. “There’s been a huge gap in the market for a purely Canadian online retailer, so my intention is to fill that gap and take a leading role.”
She described Dealuxe as a blend of the “flash sale” sites Gilt Group and Net-A-Porter.com, taking best practices from both.