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Gilt Groupe ditches flash sales for first full-price men’s retailer

June 20, 2011

Paul Smith collection


Online retailer Gilt Groupe has partnered with Conde Nast's GQ magazine to build the hype surrounding its first perpetual inventory men’s online store.

The magazine will have a featured boutique each month on the upcoming Web site, Park and Bond. The men’s store is the first non-flash-sale clothing site for Gilt Groupe.

“Gilt was the first site to launch a dedicated men’s experience with Gilt Man and we are taking this step for the same reason,” said John Auerbach, president of Park and Bond and general manager of Gilt Man, New York.

“Men shop differently than women and there are very few ecommerce experiences designed with men's needs in mind,” he said.

“Given the men’s audience we already have, this made sense.”

Brands such as Alexander McQueen, Isaia, Etro, Paul Smith, Thomas Pink and Brooks Brothers will be available on Park and Bond when the site launches late this summer.

IQ on GQ

The partnership with GQ involves an online boutique within the Park and Bond Web site that features products hand-picked by the magazine’s editors. In other words, the editors will become merchandisers.

Every item in each month’s GQ will be available immediately on Park and Bond.

The items will also be featured in content throughout GQ’s Web site and linked to Park and Bond to offer instant gratification.

The curated boutique will be updated each month, timed with the release of the latest issue of GQ.

“GQ is the indisputable authority on men’s style and has been for the past 50 years,” Mr. Auerbach said.

“So, with their editorial party, it made a lot of sense that they were the right partner for this venture,” he said.

The first GQ boutique will launch with the magazine’s September issue.

Alexander McQeen for men

Park and beyond

This marks Gilt Groupe’s first venture into a permanent selection online store.

The brand, famous for its flash-sale sites in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel as well as vacations, home goods and recreational experiences, noticed a neglect among online retailers to cater to men’s shopping needs.

“Men dress not in one brand head-to-toe, but by grabbing favorite pieces to create a look that displays you,” Mr. Auerbach said. “The new site is enabled for men to do this.”

The site was designed with these feelings in mind, featuring clear navigation paths, leading personalization tools and a comprehensive sizing chart, according to Mr. Auerbach.

Thomas Pink collection

The Park and Bond name was created to emphasize the separation from the flash-sale sites that made Gilt Groupe famous.

The site is meant to capture the spirit of the two Manhattan streets that it was named after. Park Avenue being timeless and classic, and Bond Street being hip and creative.

Consumers will be able to buy apparel, accessories and other lifestyle purchases that men would be interested in.

“The idea is that Park and Bond will be a trusted resource for the best clothing, accessories and gear for men,” Mr. Auerbach said, "and also how to incorporate those things into men’s daily life with confidence and style."

Final Take

Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York