October 27, 2010
Gilt City has acquired Bergine.com to combine two local leaders of luxury services and experiences.
The acquisition is a first for Gilt City’s parent company, Gilt Groupe Inc. It accelerates Gilt City’s West Coast expansion.
“We predated Gilt City in San Francisco by just a few weeks and we realized that we had an almost identical vision,” said Patricia Calfee, founder of Bergine, San Francisco. “At this point, as the two leaders in the local luxury server, we can really count on Gilt with its East Coast presence.
“It’s an ideal marriage,” she said.
Gilt City gives consumers access to a variety of local services at prices exclusive to its membership. Sales last seven days and feature select restaurants, spas, cultural offerings and concerts. Gilt City is offered in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.
Gilt Groupe is a members-only flash-sale Web site that sells products from many fashion and luxury brands, including Cartier, Bulgari and Marc Jacobs.
Bergine claims to be the first luxury online flash-sale destination with local services and experiences.
Gilt out West
Gilt City members will be given more access to events, restaurants and the like as Gilt City will acquire Bergine’s 200 vendor relationships. Bergine members will now receive emails from Gilt City.
Ms. Calfee will oversee West Coast operations for Gilt City. Bergine team members will also work with Gilt City.
“Gilt is very strong in New York, having been founded there, and I was raised in San Francisco,” Ms. Calfee said. “At this point, it really creates a stronger presence for Gilt on the West Coast and I think it will strengthen their presence of the West Coast market.”
“We are very excited,” she said. “We were a little tentative on how people were going to react, and our members are beyond thrilled.”
Gilt City’s acquisition shows the retailer’s fast expansion, as the flash sales site just announced its online and mobile presence last month (see story).
As parent Gilt Groupe continues to increase its portfolio, it may acquire more companies. Since its 2007 launch, it has grown to include includes Gilt, Gilt Home, Gilt Children, Gilt City, Jetsetter and Noir. The retailer recently launched its newsletter, the Gilt MANual.
“We will look at the right ways to enter and expand, which may include looking at partners and more expansion like Bergine,” said Betsy Goldin, director of PR and events at Gilt City, New York.
Kaitlyn Bonneville, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York