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Gilt Groupe to Announce Sale to Saks Fifth Avenue Owner as Soon as Thursday Morning

The deal is worth $250 million -- less than the amount Gilt raised in venture capital.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Gilt Groupe is finalizing a deal to sell to Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company for $250 million in a transaction that could be announced as early as Thursday morning, multiple sources told Re/code. The buyer, Hudson’s Bay Company, also owns department store chains Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and discount seller Saks Off Fifth.

Re/code and other outlets previously reported on the acquisition discussions last month. While the companies were aiming to announce the acquisition on Thursday morning, one source cautioned that the deal was still being finalized late Wednesday evening.

(Update: It’s official.)

The sale would mark a disappointing ending to Gilt’s chapter as a standalone business, since it spent its early years as one of retail’s most exciting companies, raising more than $280 million in venture capital and eventually achieving a $1.1 billion valuation in the process. The company pioneered the “flash sale” e-commerce model in the U.S., selling heavily discounted fashion apparel in limited-time sales that produced a craze of impulse buying. But over the past couple of years, flash sales on the whole have faded in popularity as retailers saturated customer email inboxes with promotions and less high-end excess inventory became available.

The model, however, has found staying power when it is just one tactic within a bigger company. Gilt competitor HauteLook, for example, was acquired a few years back by Nordstrom and has done well since then.

A Gilt spokeswoman declined to comment, while a Hudson’s Bay rep didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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