Rue La La Sold!

October 29, 2009 • Magazine


It has just been announced that Rue La La, one of our favorite private sales sites, has been sold along with off price web store Smart Bargains Inc. The two web stores were involved in the sale of their parent company, Retail Convergence, by e-commerce service provider, GSI Commerce. GSI Commerce, is the first company to make a major purchase in the quickly growing trend of online private sales with this $350 million cash and stock sale. At first thinking it may begin its own e-commerce site, with apparel clients like Burberry, Quicksilver, Levi's and Ralph Lauren, GSI Commerce finally decided it would be more beneficial for all parties involved if they acquired an existing business.

But before we all start to freak out, it actually seems like this takeover will be a great move for the development of Rue La La and fellow private sales site, Gilt Groupe, which GSI Commerce also owns.“In terms of long-term potential, we believe the private sale
business will be a multimillion-dollar business and we think we’re
going to be a global leader in this business,” said GSI chief executive
officer Michael Rubin. “There are only two companies that are doing a
great job in the U.S.,” he said, referring to Gilt Groupe and Rue La
La. “With us behind them, we will help take the business even faster
and further.”

Retail Convergence will keep it's headquarters in Boston, with no changes in
management or operations, said both companies. But Retail Convergence will also
take advantage of GSI’s worldwide
distribution centers in such locations as Canada and the U.K., and will
start selling overseas in the near future. Although the American private sales sector will face some Euro-based competition when it goes abroad. When Rue La La hits
the U.K., it will face Vente-Privee, the original online private sale
company, which sells everything from designer apparel to cars, and had
revenues of about 491 million pounds, or $813 million, in 2008. It
started in France and sells in the U.K. and Europe. But GSI is confident the American companies will do just fine selling overseas. Between the online webstores Retail Convergence owns, the company has 184 employees and is expected to generate $230 million in revenues this year.

Article Source: WWD
Photo Source: Rue La La
-Alia Rajput

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