Saks Fifth Avenue owner acquires Gilt Groupe for $250m in cash

8 Jan 2016

Bricks meet clicks in this compelling move by department store giant Hudson Bay Company, aimed to win over smartphone-toting millennials

Gilt Groupe, the e-commerce fashion site that employs more than 150 people in Ireland, has been acquired by North American department store giant Hudson Bay Company, the owner of iconic New York department store Saks Fifth Avenue, for $250m in cash.

Gilt Groupe came to Ireland in 2011 to establish software engineering hubs in Dublin and Limerick.

The company, which has more than 9m members, is one of the foremost e-commerce fashion sites in the US and was hailed for revolutionising fashion buying when it launched in 2007.

In addition, more than 50pc of orders are generated on Gilt’s mobile platform, which is used by a loyal and devoted millennial following.

Where bricks meet clicks

When the acquisition of Gilt is completed, Gilt customers will be able to return merchandise at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Not only this, but Gilt will be able to set up outlets in Saks Off 5th stores around the US.

“With this transaction we are further accelerating both Hudson Bay Company’s all-channel offering and Gilt’s growth,” said Hudson Bay CEO Jerry Storch.

“We plan to continue to foster Gilt’s culture of innovation, which has helped create a strong brand with a loyal and devoted millennial following.

“Adding Gilt to our rapidly growing digital business is very exciting and we see tremendous potential to enhance our mobile and personalisation strategies by leveraging Gilt’s advanced capabilities,” Storch added.

Sak’s Fifth Avenue store image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years