With a men’s business that now exceeds $100 million in sales, Gilt Groupe is plunging into a permanent full-price men’s business.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company is targeting a July launch to coincide with the release of pre-fall collections. It will offer apparel, accessories, athletic gear, gadgets and more and will include editorial content, as well.
The mix of brands will be similar to that currently found on Gilt Man, but items on the full-price site will be available for an entire season rather than for a finite period under the company’s current flash-sales model. Gilt executives would not reveal names of vendors who will be featured on the site, but John Auerbach, who has been named president of the full-price initiative, said it will be “a more curated version of what we offer now on Gilt Man.” He said 75 to 100 brands are expected to be featured.
Over the past six months, Gilt Man has offered 10 full-price sales and the results were “tremendous,” Auerbach said, making this “the natural next step.” Gilt has offered men’s since April of 2008, six months after its launch, and the dedicated Gilt Man site launched last October.
Kevin Ryan, founder and chief executive officer of Gilt, said men’s represents one-third of the company’s business, a much higher percentage than at most traditional retailers. By July, he projected the company will have more than 1 million men’s members. “It’s a very big business for us and very exciting,” he said.
Brooke Cundiff, formerly an associate divisional merchandise manager of men’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, has join Gilt as dmm of the full-price business. Gilt Man’s editorial director, Tyler Thoreson, will manage all creative and editorial content for the site, and former GQ multimedia editor Andy Comer will be executive editor. Brian Kalma, formerly head of user experience at Gilt and a one time head of user experience and Web strategy at Zappos, will be in charge of user experience for the new site.
Ryan said the company will launch at least one more full-price site next year, but the category hasn’t been determined. Gilt also offers women’s and children’s wear, home and travel. “It won’t just be men’s, but we’re starting with men’s,” he said.