Gilt Groupe at the Forefront of Online Shopping at Low Prices

Flash Sales are all the Rage even as the Gilt Groupe Continues to Grow

By: Chet Chung, Online Editor

Guilt GroupeHave you noticed that more and more of your friends are browsing on various shopping websites instead of heading to the closest brick-and-mortar retailers? In fact, according to the research firm Forrester, the US online sales have grown almost 13 percent from 2009 to 2011. It’s quite obvious that this trend will continue to increase as the internet continues its expansion.

At the forefront of this expansion stands Gilt Groupe, which was founded in 2007. They are an online retailer specialized in the sales of discounted designer products.  They are known for their flash sales, which consist of selling luxury goods at low prices for short periods of time. Its main website “Gilt.com” operates as an exclusive retail access point, where only members are allowed to view items, though membership is free.

Earlier this November, Gilt announced the expansion of its members-only shopping services to more than 90 countries, ushering in its flash sales of designer products into the global e-commerce market.

“We take great pride in putting together a curated selection of designer merchandise each day, allowing our members the ability to shop current season collections at a steep discount [compared to] retail prices” said Kevin Ryan, Founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe.

With over 5 million members currently enrolled, Gilt.com boasts products from more than six thousand luxury designer brands ranging from Vera Wang to Dolce & Gabbana.  While they mainly offer sales on women’s, men’s, and children’s seasonal clothing and accessories, the site also sells home decorations.

The Gilt began to provide travel sales, after the lunch of Jetsetter in 2009. They started offering hotel rooms in various worldwide locations at rates available to their subscribed members. [pullquote]With over 5 million members currently enrolled, Gilt.com boasts products from more than six thousand luxury designer brands ranging from Vera Wang to Dolce & Gabbana[/pullquote]Following the debut of Jetsetter, the company introduced Gilt City, a location-based service dedicated to promoting deals and bargains for activities that are locally available. More recently, the company has extended its roster with Gilt Taste, an online gourmet magazine that offers food and kitchen products. They also introduced Park & Bond, a separate site catering to the stylistic needs of men’s fashion. The company has also introduced these great discount possibilities to their mobile users with the addition of iPhone and Android apps.

As Gilt begins to walk among the likes of Amazon and other titans of e-commerce, the company is trying to set itself apart by emphasizing the individualized experience presented to each of its members, offering not products but lifestyles that suit their needs.

Even though Gilt’s flash sales are an important factor in the company’s growth, it is perhaps their tangible business model which thrusts them forward, as the company wrote in a recent press release; “we believe that every day is an opportunity to inspire and be inspired.”

ARB Team

Arbitrage Magazine
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