Kembrel scores industry first with launch of Facebook private sales store for college students

23 AUGUST 2010, PHILADELPHIA
Summary
In an industry first, Kembrel is launching the world’s first private sales store for students that can be accessed entirely through Facebook, from browsing to checkout.

In an industry first, Kembrel is launching the world’s first private sales store that can be accessed entirely through Facebook, from browsing to checkout. "By bringing our store to where our customers spend the most time online, our goal is to provide them with the most convenient and relevant shopping experience," said Cherif Habib, Kembrel's CEO.

Kembrel’s summer beta period successfully attracted 20k registered student members. This initial growth was mostly organic through word of mouth, with little reliance on traditional marketing. Kembrel is currently drawing over 5k new members per week.


To date, well over 50 brands have signed up to reach students through the Kembrel platform. Brands are selected for their relevance to student customers and the products on offer include apparel, accessories, sporting goods, dorm essentials and gadgets. The assortment is tightly curated by young buyers who understand the student market. "We offer a direct marketing channel to a niche demographic untapped by other private sales sites, as well as a chance to build brand loyalty among an educated, trend-savvy and young demographic," said Valerie Muvdi, Buyer at Kembrel and a recent college graduate herself.

Kembrel was launched on the University of Pennsylvania campus and has enjoyed the support of the school’s entrepreneurial community:

  • Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Wharton Business Plan Competition finals
  • Selected for the Venture Initiation Program (Wharton’s incubator)
  • Winner of the Wharton Venture Award
  • Winner of the Snider Seed Award

 

The Kembrel team has stayed true to their college roots by involving a close-knit community of student contributors in all aspects of the company. During a typical day at Kembrel’s studio, photography majors snap product shots featuring aspiring student models. Journalism, marketing and PR students write content and help spread the word. According to Stephan Jacob, CTO: "Our commitment to developing student talent has helped us maintain an authentic voice and keep our costs low, while providing college students with invaluable professional experience."

About Kembrel
Launched by two Wharton students Kembrel, is a private shopping community for college students. By partnering with the hottest lifestyle brands, they are able to offer 40-75% discounts off retail prices to their student members in limited-time sales that start at 9 pm EST and last for only 5 days. Kembrel aims to help students discover new brands and coveted products while saving big. The company will also help brands gain exposure and acquire lifetime customers in the extremely valuable student market through a targeted combination of social e-commerce and community building.

Quotes
"By bringing our store to where our customers spend the most time online, our goal is to provide them with the most convenient and relevant shopping experience" Cherif Habib, CEO
"We offer a direct marketing channel to a niche demographic untapped by other private sales sites as well as a chance to build brand loyalty among an educated, trend savvy and young demographic" Valerie Muvdi, Buyer
"Our commitment to developing student talent has helped us maintain an authentic voice and keep our costs low, while providing college students with invaluable professional experience" Stephan Jacob, CTO
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