Hunters Alley, the stylish sister site of One Kings Lane, the online home décor retailer, has closed just shy of its six-month mark. The closing of the site -- surprising to many online shopping enthusiasts and design insiders -- was part of a larger corporate restructuring at One Kings Lane, and 79 jobs were cut as well.
“After careful consideration we decided to close the Hunters Alley marketplace in an effort to focus on our core business," a One Kings Lane spokesperson said. "We are working to ensure a smooth transition for buyers and sellers, and moving forward we’ll continue to feature a wide assortment of vintage products on One Kings Lane.”
Hunters Alley, similar to EBay or Etsy, allowed individuals to sell vintage, pre-owned and hand-crafted goods. It launched in January and celebrated in March with a glitzy Karen Kimmel-designed party at the Unique Space in the L.A. Arts District. The event was well-attended by celebrities and the design community.
Hunters Alley had a cool, youthful vibe. Buyers were referred to as “foxes” on the hunt and were invited to shop in theme areas mimicking writer's nooks, downtown lofts and a Brooklyn brownstone. Picks of celebrities and high-profile designers such as Rachel Zoe and Ross Cassidy were highlighted on the site. The Dennis Hopper Art Trust even hosted a sale, which showcased items from his Taos, N.M., home.
Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, said she did not find the closing that surprising. “It’s an expensive business from a creative standpoint,” she said. “It takes a lot of resources to produce beautiful images to entice buyers and time to build, which makes it a difficult value proposition,” she said.
One Kings Lane sells furniture and home accessories from other businesses. It was an early bird in the home goods flash-sale arena and has had a steady rise since its 2009 launch. In January, the company was valued at $912 million. Doug Mack, the former chief executive, left in April and Chief Financial Officer Dinesh Lathi stepped into his role.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times