Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The online and print luxury lifestyle magazine will target 3 million consumers.
Gilt Groupe Inc., the members-only, online flash-sale retailer of designer apparel, home furnishings and travel services, is heading into the world of publishing in hopes of connecting with more upscale consumers.
In association with publishing firm Binn Group and magazine distributor Hudson Media Inc., Gilt, No. 49 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, plans to launch this fall Du Jour, a digital and glossy print magazine that will focus on the luxury lifestyles of some 3 million high-net-worth consumers. The name of the magazine—which means “of the day”—reflects the daily flash sales offered by Gilt.
Consumers can access the monthly magazine on dujour.com, or directly from Gilt.com. The magazine will also publish some 235,000 glossy print copies each month to subscribers, with another 15,000 copies sold through retail stores. The magazine’s content will also be available on social sites Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
“Luxury advertisers want to connect with transactional customers who can afford the lifestyles they celebrate and others aspire to celebrate in an offline and online environment,” says Jason Binn, a veteran publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines and, for the past year and a half, a strategic advisor to Gilt Groupe. “I’m confident this collaboration will reshape the marketing landscape and afford upscale brands the ability to activate purchases and drive traffic to their business establishments and web sites.”
The magazine will help to spark sales of luxury products, says James Cohen, president and CEO of Hudson Media. “During the past decade, consumer behavior indicates that luxury consumers solidify their online purchase decisions when romanced by print creative,” he says without giving specifics.
The magazine will be supported primarily by display advertising sales, both print and online. And readers of the digital magazine will often have the opportunity to click directly to the web sites of products featured in the magazine, Binn says.
Other retailers have entered digital publishing, though not always with lasting success. J.C. Penney Co. Inc., No. 20 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in January closed CladMen.com and GiftingGrace.com, sites it had developed with magazine publisher Hearst Corp. to integrate with Hearst publications such as Esquire and Good Housekeeping.
Gilt Groupe founder and CEO Kevin Ryan says that Du Jour is the result of Gilt’s working with Binn for more than a year to produce a publication that complements Gilt’s image as a retailer of luxury products. Gilt is a shareholder in the venture with Binn and Hudson Media and will take part of the magazine’s profits, the companies say.
The magazine will focus on readers living in such major metropolitan areas as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The magazine will also cater to readers in seasonal enclaves favored by affluent consumers, such as the Hamptons on Long Island, NY, and the ski resort areas of Colorado’s Aspen and Sun Valley, ID.
Du Jour will target the upper echelons of consumers, those with an average net worth of $5 million, liquid assets over $1 million, average home values in excess of $1.5 million, and average annual income of more than $250,000, the companies say. The magazine’s backers figure such consumers spend $100,000 or more each year on luxury purchases offline and another $10,000 online, in addition to more than $10,000 in charitable donations.
The magazine’s content will cover the full scope of luxury living, Binn promises, with such editorial topics as fashion, travel, fine dining, gourmet food, jewelry, entertainment and art.
Binn is the founder and former head of Niche Media, a publishing company that specializes in luxury lifestyle magazines including Ocean Drive, which covers the Miami area, and Hamptons, which covers the ocean front communities of eastern Long Island.
Alexis Maybank, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Gilt Groupe, will give a keynote address—“The Gilt Groupe: Innovative ways to connect with today’s consumer”—at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June.