At one point, in the flash sale diversification race, it seemed that Gilt Groupe’s next big move was take the company toward full-priced luxury. Chief among this effort was the launch of Park & Bond, an upscale retail mens’ wear site. Now, with an eye toward streamlining its business, Gilt will shutter Park & Bond at the beginning of next year.
While the site had yet to turn a profit, that’s apparently not unusual for a start-up of its size and age (the division cost about $10 million and opened for business in the summer of 2011). Rather, Gilt needed to clear up customer confusion — for instance, differentiation was difficult in the face of dual discounts on Park & Bond and Gilt’s regularly off-price men’s division.
Gilt Groupe, on the whole, is moving toward profitability and an eventual IPO. As they proceed, some of Park & Bond will be folded into existing divisions (expect to see more full-priced items make it onto Gilt Man). We hope, while they’re at it, they also hang on to some of the creative elements — Park & Bond launched with a nice editorial component accompanying its retail concept. And maybe, while they’re in the business of creating private label clothes for kids, we’ll see an in-house Gilt Man launch down the line.