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ANNIE'S NEWS FLASH: Off-price chains have been loathe to operate e-commerce sites. Even their advertising only hints at the labels they carry since many of their resources prefer to keep their off-price activity on the down low. Annie Sez recently launched an online private flash sale site at anniesez.com. Ken Mandelbaum, chairman and chief executive officer, said flash sales lend themselves to off-price retail where buys — often closeouts — don't have a lot of depth or range of sizes. "With a flash sale, the customer knows up front that quantities are limited," he said. "That's the excitement." In addition to apparel and accessories, the new site will feature high-end jewelry and men's wear, categories not sold at Annie Sez stores. "We think it will be a very substantial part of our business, much bigger than the volume of a brick-and-mortar store," he said.
Meanwhile, Annie Sez's new ad campaign superimposes its Web address, anniesez.com, over images of models wearing the season's trends who are accessorized to the hilt. The ad campaign is part of a rebranding effort that includes the flash sale site and store enhancements such as new color schemes, signage and fixturing.