Gilt Needs More Than A Physical Showroom To Keep Flash Sales Alive
Gilt this week announced they will be opening “Gilt by Appointment,” an opportunity for New York-based customers to experience an in-person appointment with a personal stylist to try on and select items from Gilt’s current assortment. This is an interesting move for an online pureplay retailer, putting Gilt in the company of online peers like Birchbox, Etsy, Warby Parker, and Bonobos.
Gilt’s announcement comes during a rough patch for online flash sale retailers. QVC just acquired Zulily for $18.75 a share, a significant discount over the online retailer’s peak of $73.50 just 18 months ago. Zulily’s current woes seem focused on a lack of growth in the customer base, but they’re not the only one struggling – companies like Fab and JackThreads have shifted strategies away from flash sales, and competition has increased as big players like Nordstrom (through its acquisition of HauteLook) and QVC have gotten into the game, or more “traditional” online retailers like Wayfair have added flash sale-like promotions to their retailing strategy.