Longaberger Looks to Livestreaming

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Longaberger, a social commerce retailer, launches livestreaming on Monday, providing an alternative venue for shopping the brand’s artisanal handcrafted American home goods.

The livestreaming monthly series, called Longaberger Live, will enable shoppers to learn more about the home products by interacting with hosts who have expert knowledge of the merchandise.

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Rachel Longaberger, the brand ambassador and daughter of Dave Longaberger who founded the brand in 1973, will host Monday’s show, which can be accessed through Longaberger.com. Viewers will have access to one-night-only offers as well as a chance to win a $500 gift card during the 30-minute event starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Longaberger’s social selling format involves “life stylists” who use the Longaberger template to create their online storefronts to sell their own edited versions of the brand’s assortment on social media.

The life stylists pay a $49 annual fee for the virtual store stocked with Longaberger products and link it to Instagram, Facebook, other social media and emails to sell the products. They earn 20 percent of each sale, and if they recruit others to become Longaberger stylists, they receive 5 percent of the sales by the new stylist. They also get a 20 percent discount on items they purchase from their virtual stores.

For its livestreaming series, Longaberger has partnered with Bambuser, an interactive live video shopping provider.

“By homing in on our digital-first approach, we expect that these livestream shows will improve monthly sales by 25 to 33 percent,” said Robert W. D’Loren, chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel Brands Inc., which, along with Hilco Global, bought Longaberger out of bankruptcy by acquiring the intellectual property in November 2019. Subsequently, the brand introduced its new business model involving digital social selling and a wider assortment, including jewelry, though the 48-year-old Longaberger is best known for its handwoven maplewood baskets.

In its original guise Longaberger was a social selling platform similar to Avon, Mary Kay or Tupperware where independent sales consultants would stage parties at home and invite friends and family to check out the products.

Xcel also owns the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, C Wonder and Halston brands.

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