November 30, 2010, 4:15 PM

Gilt Groupe to offer men another fashion site next year

But there’s a difference: Items will be sold at full price, not at flash-sale discounts.

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Gilt Groupe Inc. hopes to make itself even more attractive to men. The invitation-only retailer of fashions, mainly for women, said today it will launch an e-commerce site next summer that sells men’s apparel, accessories, athletic gear and gadgets.

Though Gilt typically sells items at a discount through limited-time sales to consumers who have signed up as members, the new men’s site will offer products at full price and for a longer period—for instance, the full season for which the apparel was designed. This is the first Gilt site that focuses on products sold at full retail price, says John Auerbach, who will serve as president of the new site. Gilt has yet to release the web address for the new site.

Gilt, No. 140 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has hardly ignored men over the past year or so.  The company in September introduced Giltmanual.com to offer tips to men about how to groom themselves, develop personal styles, display good manners and eat and drink like sophisticated gentlemen. And in 2009, Gilt launched an e-commerce site for men called Gilt Man.  

Gilt Man will remain as a separate business unit, says Auerbach, who worked as general manager of Gilt Man. “The new site is an opportunity to put our expertise in technology, fulfillment, and user experience, not to mention knowledge of our customer, to use in new ways,” he says. “It’s the natural next step following the runaway success of Gilt. Men shop differently than women, and they deserve an e-commerce experience designed with their needs in mind.”

Expanding on that point, Auerbach says women tend to buy clothes they like and then find an occasion to wear them, while men think about the occasion before finding a suitable outfit. “The new site will reflect this distinction, offering guys the clothes and advice guys need to look their best, whatever setting they find themselves in,” he says.

Building on the expertise offered at Giltmanual.com, the new site will include how-to content and features on the latest trends in fashion, travel, culture and gear, he says.

Gilt plans to launch the site in time for consumers to buy fall clothes. Gilt will promote the site through traditional marketing campaigns along with social media, Auerbach says.

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