July 30, 2010, 4:44 PM

Gilt Groupe expands its children’s sales

Gilt Children goes from one sale offer per week to 15.

Lead Photo

Flash-sale e-retailer Gilt Groupe Inc. is ready to bring kids back to school in style.

The New York-based company has announced it is now offering approximately 15 sales per week in the area. This brings the Gilt Children division's sales frequency in line with other Gilt categories such as women's and men's fashion and home goods. Gilt Children had offered one sale per week since its launch in 2008 and in February had increased the frequency to six sales per week.

“We are thrilled to be expanding into the category,” says Stefan Pepe, general manager of Gilt Children. Pepe says that the division now offers products from more than 180 vendors, more than double the amount offered six months ago, and includes footwear, toys and furnishings.

The limited-time, invitation-only sales also can be accessed via Gilt’s recently launched mobile applications.

Pepe says the new focus on Gilt Children is in response to consumer demand, particularly among the sale site’s following of busy moms. The e-retailer currently has 2.5 million members; the average member age is 37. “The women who were shopping in fashion were increasingly crossing into the children’s category and shopping there too,” he says. “We want to put this in front of them and see how they respond to it.”

The announcement comes only two months after Gilt Groupe, No. 140 in Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, expanded the Gilt Home division’s offerings and frequency.

But despite the rapid expansion, Pam Danzinger, a luxury goods retail expert, says the success of Gilt Group and other flash-sale competitors extensions beyond women’s fashion is yet to be determined. “I think the jury is still out if they will find traction as they expand into home and children and men, but I think that they have such a firm hold in terms of the success of women’s fashion that the expansion only makes sense. They don’t hold inventory, so you put up a few pages and see what happens. There is very little downside to expansion into other areas.”

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