HBC to buy Gilt Groupe for $250 million

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Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) is set to pay $250 million (USD) to buy Gilt Groupe Holdings, Inc. The membership-based online retailer, which caters specifically to millennials, has more than nine million members and is expected to add about $500 million to HBC’s overall revenue this year.

The acquisition will complement HBC’s growing digital business, which is integrated with its brick-and-mortar operations under banners like Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. The company sees an especially close fit between Gilt and Saks Off 5th, which is set to open stores in Canada this year.

“We plan to continue to foster Gilt’s culture of innovation, which has helped create a strong brand with a loyal and devoted millennial following,” says HBC chief executive Jerry Storch. “Adding Gilt to our rapidly growing digital business is very exciting and we see tremendous potential to enhance our mobile and personalization strategies by leveraging Gilt’s advanced capabilities.”

HBC says it expects the transaction to close by February 1 after getting approval from Gilt’s shareholders.

Founded in 2007 by Kevin Ryan, Park Avenue-based Gilt is an invitation-only site for women’s clothing and accessories. It has since expanded into products for men, babies, children and the home. CJ