Gilt Groupe Layoffs Should Not Cut Into Cross-Border Strategy

Marshall Porter
Marshall Porter

TechCrunch reported Wednesday that Gilt Groupe has cut 45 jobs, including that of SVP and GM, International Marshall Porter.

But that is not an indication that Gilt is giving up on its cross-border strategy. It just means the fashion and luxury flash sales site will not have a SVP for its International operations.

Oksana Voronenko, who was a keynote speaker at Growing Global 2015, is being promoted to senior director of international and she will report to Steven Schneider, who will oversee Gilt’s international division, according to TechCrunch.

Oksana Voronenko
Oksana Voronenko

At Growing Global, Voronenko told attendees that 20% of Gilt’s revenues come from international markets, which includes a joint venture in Japan. In 2011, Gilt did not realize just how much of its business was coming from outside the U.S.

“We checked our IP traffic and we discovered that we already had a sizable international business,” said Oksana Voronenko, Director of International Strategy and Operations at Gilt, at Multichannel Merchant’s Growing Global conference. “It was a fraction of our overall sales, but it was a multi-million dollar business.

And while cross-border sales were substantial, Voronenko said Gilt didn’t make it easy for customers from outside the U.S. to buy from them.

“We already had customers all around the globe ordering from us and using freight-forwarding services, and frankly, we couldn’t have made it harder for the customer,” Voronenko said.

Gilt has since revamped its platform to better cater to cross-border customers by adding payment choices such as Alipay and UnionPay, localizing chat, FAQs, and emails, and optimizing its site for better SEO on Chinese search engine Baidu.

In an email, Gilt Groupe Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications Jennifer Miller said the job cuts were made to “position Gilt to be a profitable business in 2016.”

Tim Parry is Managing Editor of Multichannel Merchant.

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