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Luxury shopping from your home

If you’ve walked past a Habits designer store and dreamed of owning that expensively understated black dress, dream no more., a South African private event retailer and luxury shopping concept opened for business at the end of March and it is offering shoppers between 35 and 80% off the retail price for the very best of local and international designer fashion and accessories.

Fast becoming every South African fashionistas best friend, 36boutiques made its first sale just 6 minutes and 30 seconds after it launched its first boutique sale on 29 March. Since then, the website has doubled its membership week-on-week.

What makes this company different is that it allows registered members to purchase high-end designer at up to 80% off the retail price on a safe online platform that features sale events that last for 36 hours only.

The sale events are for members only, who register and sign up at Once a member is confirmed, they will receive a confirmation and an invite to the next sale. Sale events feature various boutiques and each sale lasts for only 36 hours – from 12 noon on a Monday to midnight on Tuesday.

Sales that have already successfully concluded are Stefania Morland, iconic British designer Ben Sherman and SA musician Louise Carver’s jewellery range, Jingle and Chimes. Besides the obvious benefits of exclusive discounted prices on designer wear and brands for customers, 36boutiques is also providing designers and retailers with an innovative new platform to access customers.

Nicky Boy, a driving force behind 36boutiques says, ‚We are delighted with the feedback that we have received following our first three sales. Shoppers are really excited to be given access to their favourite brands at such unbelievable prices. They are also impressed that they can view the garments in such detail on the site. The customers who have gone through the total 36boutiques experience (from browsing to purchasing and receiving) have been exceptionally impressed with how quickly they received the garments purchased and how accurate our sizing advice is.‚

Online shopping is slowly but surely becoming more real to the South African shopper, who is more time-strapped than ever before.

Besides the obvious cost and penetration of reliable internet access, the main reasons South Africans have held back on a trend that has grown tremendously in Europe or in the US has been security, delivery issues and sizing. 36boutiques is built on a 128-bit encryption, which makes the website’s payment platform as safe as online banking. With regards to sizing, the 36boutiques team addresses this issue by customising its sizing advice on the website according to the brand on sale. And lastly, 36boutiques uses a courier service to deliver the items so members do not have any postal troubles.

36 boutiques is opening new markets for designers and retailers by introducing customers to luxury brands to which they may not have been exposed before. The next sale event begins at 12 noon on Monday, 10 May and features Hermanna Rush and ‚7 For All Mankind‚ (the international leader in premium denim) followed by the Melissa shoes and Cosabella sale, which will take place on 17 May 2010.

How it works:

Customers sign up to become an exclusive member of 36boutiques online at, which is free. Once accepted, customers are emailed before the beginning of a sale event, to announce which retail store or designer will be on sale that week.

Customers have 36 hours to buy luxury items, after which the sale is closed and items are packaged for free delivery to customers (free delivery for purchases over R1000, otherwise a R50 charge applies). Once a purchase is delivered, normally within a couple of days, the customer has 7 days to return the item if they are not satisfied.

Invitation only: friends-reward-friends

Membership is free, but is by invitation only. 36boutiques members can earn R50 credit when friends that they introduce to the concept make their first purchase on

‚Our offering is so compelling that customers have been inviting their friends to share their designer shopping secrets. We encourage this, and fee that it is important to reward people for introducing us into their social circles,‚ concludes Nicky Boy.

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