September 6, 2016
French retail group Galeries Lafayette has acquired private sale site BazarChic in an effort to strengthen its own ecommerce operations.
The purchase, which gave Galeries Lafayette group 100 percent of BazarChic’s capital and a majority stake in the company, with the remaining stake going to the retail group in the coming years. This is the second ecommerce startup added to Galeries Lafayette’s stable this year, representative of the group’s focus on digital.
Galeries Lafayette acquired BazarChic and its subsidiaries, BazarChicVoyages and NGR, from the company’s shareholders. Among the shareholders are company founders Liberty Verny and Nathalie Gillier, who launched the venture in 2006.
Ms. Verny, who is CEO of BazarChic, will stay on in her position.
In a brand statement, Ms. Verny said, “We look forward to integrating the Galeries Lafayette group, as this move marks a new strategic step for BazarChic and MyTravelChic. We are confident that our digital expertise, supported by Galeries Lafayette group’s global outreach, will enable BazarChic to accelerate its growth in a dynamic market.”
BazarChic has strengths in mobile commerce, with almost half of its sales coming through mobile devices. It also manages a substantial volume of orders, with more than a million packages shipped annually to its 6.4 million members worldwide.
The startup built relationships with more than 800 brands, who trusted that it would provide quality customer service to shoppers. While the ecommerce platform sold goods at accessible price points, it maintained the aura of exclusivity.
BazarChic’s ecommerce infrastructure will be used by Galeries Lafayette to provide an online channel for the existing bricks-and-mortar network of Galeries Lafayette Outlet stores.
“As our department store business is focused on its omnichannel transformation, we are delighted that BazarChic joins our group,” said Philippe Houzé, executive chairman of the Galeries Lafayette group, in a brand statement. “Liberty Verny and Nathalie Gillier have founded and developed a major French player in ecommerce, and we are convinced that together we will write a new chapter of its history.”
The transaction’s closing is subject to antitrust authorizations.
In June, Galeries Lafayette acquired InstantLuxe.com, a French ecommerce site that sells pre-owned luxury goods (see story).
Similarly to Galeries Lafayette, Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Company grew its off-price business with the addition of Gilt to its stable of banners.
With this acquisition, the retail group has integrated Gilt within Saks Off 5th locations, giving the flash seller a bricks-and-mortar presence. As an innovative retailer with strong capabilities in mobile and personalization technology, Gilt may help HBC further the digital efforts of its more traditional stores (see story).