Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, is in talks to acquire fashion flash sale site Gilt for $250 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is significantly less than the $1.1 billion valuation Gilt received in 2011.
In addition to its flash site, Gilt also has a New York showroom–Gilt by Appointment–where customers can come in by appointment and shop for apparel, shoes and accessories. To grow that physical retail interaction, Hudson’s Bay plans to pair Gilt with its off-price Saks Off 5th brand, according to the the article, with possible plans to open Gilt shops inside Saks Off 5th stores.
Hudson’s Bay has been on a buying spree, purchasing Saks in a 2013 buyout for about $2.9 billion and German retailer Galeria Kaufhof for about €2.5 billion. Hudson’s Bay has reported struggles lately, with a stronger U.S. dollar and decline in tourist spending that has hurt Saks and Saks Off Fifth.
Flash sale sites have been sold off to larger entities, a sign that they have lost some of their luster. Nordstrom acquired flash sale site HauteLook for $270 million in 2011; Groupon bought Ideeli for $43 million in 2014, while Zulily was recently sold to Liberty Interactive Corp’s QVC for $2.4 billion.