In an increasingly crowded retail environment, differentiation is becoming the most elusive and valuable commodity for brand owners looking to inflate their bottom lines. And the emerging success of “deal of the day” sites like Groupon and WagJag is proof-positive that consumers are looking for exclusivity and value when parting with their hard-earned dollars.
In the kids space, New York-based Gilt Group has aligned itself with major brands like Disney and Mattel and developed the Gilt Children banner to offer unique deals in the space.
“Our site is for the highly curated lifestyle,” says Rachel Jarrett, GM of Gilt Children. “We have moms who tend to be young, hip and urban and have a higher income demographic than average.”
Gilt Group has amassed approximately 3.5 million members since its founding in 2007. The subscription-free invitation-based site offers appointment shopping with themed sales typically lasting between 36 and 72 hours each.
While the site launched with a focus on high-fashion and designer brands, under Jarrett’s watch the children’s area is becoming more robust and has added a slew of name-brand apparel and accessory offerings, as well as the aforementioned exclusive deals with Disney and Mattel.
“We did a promotion and event in May where we offered an advance look at select merchandise from Cars 2,” says Jarrett. “It was both for apparel and toys. We know that Disney is a fantastic brand and that our membership would support it.” (As a private company, Gilt is not releasing sales figures, but Jarrett says Gilt was “very happy” with the success of the program.)
Another kid-centric promotion offered both Barbies and real-life versions of the high-fashion dress the doll sported for a limited-time sale. “We did a joint campaign around it that also used the Barbie Twitter account to say that she had a date with Ken and wanted to buy a dress on our site,” says Jarrett. “It was a really cute campaign.”
Jarrett says the site is particularly interested in bringing more licensed brands under its kids banner, given that the previously mentioned promos and ones with toymaker Melissa & Doug and Nickelodeon have worked out quite nicely. “Certain brands resonate with moms, and we know our moms trust Gilt,” says Jarrett. “There is a real push for us to continue to work with marquee brands.”