Gilt, the well-funded company that sells high-end luxury goods online at steep discounts in short-term “flash sales”, has its eyes set on a new target: Groupon. At least, it’s launching a new service that has a very similar model. In the last two days, Gilt has been sending some members invitations to ‘Gilt City‘, where they can get “exclusive local deals and offers up to 70% off.” The service is only available in New York City for now, but it’s clear that Gilt intends to expand it elsewhere. As with Gilt’s normal flash-sales, you’ll have to request an account to take part (it looks like existing accounts already work).
Like Groupon, Gilt City offers deals from local businesses (restaurants, beauty salons, etc.) and events. Deals are available in limited quantities and for a limited time. But the site differs in a few ways from Groupon: there doesn’t seem to be a minimum number of participants needed for a deal to become “activated”, and some stores are offering multiple deals. And unlike Groupon’s one-deal-per-day, Gilt only updates once a week for now.
Gilt is only the latest in a long, long string of Groupon-like sites to launch recently, but it’s in a better position than most. Gilt already has a strong brand presence, and it’s raised $48 million. But it’s typically focused on luxury goods whereas Groupon has a broader focus, so there’s likely room for the two to coexist.
Among the deals currently being offered are specials at a local salon, a trendy restaurant, and a show, all of which are high-end. However, there’s also a deal for the 16 Handles yogurt chain, which has a pretty broad appeal.
Thanks to Josh Goldman for the heads up.
Headquartered in New York, Gilt Groupe is a privately held company dedicated to providing its members with access to coveted fashion and luxury lifestyle brands at sample sale prices. Gilt Groupe includes sales for men, women, and home as well as Gilt City (geo-specific), Gilt Taste (food), and Jetsetter (travel). Gilt Groupe hand selects both established and up and coming brands relevant to its membership base. Each Gilt Groupe Shopping Event is designer-specific and held over a one day...
Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 565 cities around the world. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere. Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way that offers the consumer an unbeatable deal, and businesses a large number of new customers. To date, it has saved consumers more than $300 million and claims it...