I say it plays a few psychological tricks quite well.
First, as noted, the feeling of exclusiveness: that not any average Joe will go there, it's not something common like (insert lots of contempt here) IKEA.
Second: it creates curiosity. Just by not being able to see, you get curious about what you are missing. A few nicely placed teasers on the front page, and you just want to take a quick peek around the corner.
Third: this invites you to place a commitment. A well researched technique to get people to do something they don't particularly want is to draw them in with little steps, asking for a tiny commitments, nothing too much, every time. (One description: http://raisedbyturtles.org/commitment-and-consistency/ But more is in The Social Animal, by Elliot Aronson). As soon as you have filled out your personal information, one step has been taken and you will not dismiss something as easily as you would have done in a noncommitted store.
Fourth: it then stresses how the supply is limited and you should act immediately. (When placed in the cart, the item is reserved for 30 minutes, it's only available for 24, 48 or 72 hours, and supply is limited and will not return.) This plays well into the exclusiveness, but also into the feeling that you have missed out on something special if you didn't purchase immediately, another wellknown selling technique. (One the lottery plays into as well, especially location based ones - the fear of being the only one in the area that has NOT won something, and you could have been part of it if only...) And it limits the chances of comparing table prices and coming to the conclusion that other tables just like it are much cheaper.
The point here obviously has nothing to do with the user: it's not meant to help the user in any way, but to trick them into things they don't particularly want. But in that, it is probably effective.