Will Hudson’s Bay Co. Buy Gilt Groupe?

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Several reports have indicated that Hudson’s Day Co., parent company of high-end retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, is in talks to acquire New York-based flash-sales site Gilt Groupe for $250 million.

While $250 million is a hefty price tag, Gilt has raised more than $300 million in financing and had a $1.1 billion valuation in 2011, according to TechCrunch.

A deal could be announced in early 2016, but nothing is set in stone as negotiations are still underway and could fall apart, according to The New York Times.

When Gilt launched eight years ago, it was so popular it raised $138 million from investors. But flash sales sites like Gilt have lost their luster as consumers are desensitized to deals, the Times reported.

In 2011, Nordstrom acquired competitor HauteLook for $270 million, when the outlook for flash sales sites was more favorable, according to TechCrunch.

The Times said that estimated sales for the biggest flash sales sites – including Gilt, Rue La La, and Zulily – have stalled in recent  quarters, and Gilt most likely does not turn a profit. Gilt’s sales came to less than $700 million last year. In February, Gilt raised $50 million in funding from investors led by the equity firm General Atlantic. In August, QVC acquired zulily for $2.4 billion.

TechCrunch reports that Gilt could be grouped together with the Off Fifth brand at Saks, which opened up inside these brick-and-mortar stores.

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