VC-backed Beyond The Rack teams up with Shoppers Drug Mart
There was some very exciting news for one of our Wellington Financial Fund IV portfolio companies yesterday. Beyond The Rack, Canada’s third largest e-commerce retailer (behind EBay and Amazon), is now working with one of Canada’s largest bricks and mortar chains, Shoppers Drug Mart.
This from the Globe and Mail’s coverage of the announcement:
The country’s largest drugstore chain is teaming with flash-sale fashion website Beyond the Rack to give Shoppers loyalty cardholders the chance to rack up more rewards. It’s an important entry for Shoppers into the world of online shopping, as global rivals move quickly to gobble up market share.
“We see it as a first step to e-commerce,” said Jim Noteboom, senior vice-president of business analytics and financial services at Shoppers, which is rolling out the new Optimum-Beyond the Rack site on Wednesday.
Shoppers has already dipped its toes in cybershopping waters, launching an e-commerce site tied to its small upscale Murale beauty chain last year. But it faces competition from powerhouse retailers Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and Amazon.com, which are expanding their online beauty and consumer product stores.
Over the past few years, Shoppers has made a real push into cosmetics and other beauty products. You can’t help but walk through the section every time you enter one of the new stores. By sheer design, you start your shopping experience in the beauty department. It’s highly effective.
In some ways, thanks to the chain’s relationship with Beyond The Rack, a customer’s online journey will mirror that experience as Optimum card holders will now have the opportunity to browse through dozens of appealing fashion and housewares offerings without having to leave home or their office desks.
In case you’ve not heard, Beyond the Rack Enterprises is a private online shopping club for men and women seeking designer brand fashions, accessories, beauty products and home decor at significant discounts to retail pricing. The team works with major brands to hold limited-time “flash” sales that are open exclusively to site members. Each sale starts at a specific time and typically lasts up to 48 hours (or until the merchandise is sold out). There is also a huge listing or more basic products, such as bed linens and similar staple housewares, that are always available. The Company has close to 10 million members and deals with about 3,000 brand partners.
Montreal-based BTR is backed by Highland Capital, iNovia, Rho Canada, Panorama, Tandem, and BDC Venture Capital. Congrats to CEO Yona Shtern and the rest of the BTR team.