One Kings Lane Tries to Wrap Context Around Home Décor

Startup in the midst of a 'pivot'

One Kings Lane, the flash sale startup specializing in home furnishings, is in the midst of a “pivot,” according to CEO Doug Mack.

The company isn’t abandoning its current business model, he says; instead, it’s investing on the editorial and design side, with a recently opened New York City creative office complementing the engineering team in San Francisco. The vision is to turn One Kings Lane into the destination site for home décor, one that people visit even when they’re not looking to buy a sofa. For example, the startup has been adding more how-to content. At the end of September, it ran a promotion called “Five Rooms in Five Days,” where the site featured decorating tips for a different room each day—with, of course, handy links to purchase the featured goods—leading to its highest sales ever.

A driving force behind the initiative is the company’s vp of creative, Joshua Liberson, who joined last year after One Kings Lane acquired his design firm Helicopter. Liberson was responsible for the look of publications like Condé Nast’s defunct lifestyle magazine Domino, and he said he’s using a magazine sensibility to offer “context” to One Kings Lane’s sales.

And OKL isn’t the only shopping site seeking context. Competitor Gilt Groupe just hired Tom Delavan, another Domino alum, as its editorial director.