Gilt Groupe, an innovative lifestyle e-commerce player, is to bring up to 200 jobs to Ireland by establishing an international HQ and software development centre in Dublin and a customer support centre in Limerick.
New York-headquartered Gilt Groupe’s web store offers its 3.5m members special access to customised merchandise experiences on a daily basis at insider prices.
The site searches the world for coveted brands, especially fashion for women, men and children, as well as home decor, hotels and travel experiences.
Recruitment will commence for senior software engineering and technology roles in Dublin immediately, to own and accelerate some of the company’s most critical product development projects. It is anticipated that Gilt Groupe’s customer support centre will be operational in Limerick by September. It is envisaged that employment will be split equally between the two sites.
Founded in 2007, Gilt.com works with more than 1,200 brands and its revenues have grown from US$25m in its first year to more than US$400m today.
The company’s founder and chief technology officer Michael Bryzek told Siliconrepublic.com that the difference between the 21st-century e-commerce experience demonstrated by Gilt.com compared with traditional e-commerce giants like Amazon is the ability to offer curated experiences.
“When we began, social networks were just born and there were new ways of interacting with people and new experiences to be had. Most people on the high street spend three hours window shopping but online people don’t have time for that.
“What we do is make the curated experience online simple, fast and fun. Our sale starts every day at noon and we offer different products handpicked by people with style. It’s an event and happens in a set period of time. Internally we joke that it’s a bit like shopping in Twitter. That said, there’s a lot of work to be done to make social commerce viable.
“Today in Ireland we are launching our new software development centre, international HQ and customer service centre,” Bryzek said.
The internet capital of Europe
He continued: “The constant challenge companies like Gilt have is finding great people and we were attracted to Ireland by the great people and great fun and we couldn’t be more excited in terms of opportunities.”
Bryzek said he was confident Gilt.com will fill the roles. “Between Limerick and Dublin we’ve had expressions of interest from talented engineers and world-class business people. We’ll be recruiting local as well as hiring candidates from outside Europe. Our goal is to find really bright people that fit the culture of Gilt and help build competencies that will only grow from Dublin.”
Engineers focused on creating layers of personalisation on Gilt.com, in particular, will thrive in Dublin, Bryzek said. “Every page we render is unique and in real time. This requires a level of personalisation and that competency will be owned by the team in Ireland. The way we think about things, we aren’t looking for people focused on specific tasks but more about how they can create innovation – great engineers are leaders who can conceive new ideas and implement them,” Bryzek said.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD welcomed Gilt Groupe’s arrival.
“As a leading online retailer and one of the fastest-growing companies in the US, this a significant win for Ireland in the digital space, and is a major endorsement of Ireland’s capabilities in the areas of electronic and social commerce.”
“The company will provide excellent employment opportunities in Limerick and Dublin for talented graduates with strong customer service and IT skills. The addition of Gilt to Ireland’s national spread of internet-based companies further reinforces Ireland’s reputation as the internet capital of Europe," added Noonan.
IDA Ireland CEO Barry O’Leary said the online retail industry continues to grow in Ireland and is a key target industry for IDA Ireland. “Gilt’s addition to this thriving industry positions Ireland well for further investment in this growth sector.”