RueLaLa.com closes the curtain on its longest running e-commerce show
January 13, 2012 11:38 AM
RueLaLa.com, a part of Kynetic LLC, is consolidating SmartBargains.com, its oldest e-commerce brand.
Kynetic is an e-commerce and online retailing company launched by GSI Commerce founder and CEO Michael Rubin,
The company says it will shift resources from SmartBargains.com to RueLaLa.com, a private-sale and online retail brand, and merge SmartBargains.com into the private-sale site. "We have made the strategic decision to further align ourselves with our core business model,” RueLaLa.com says in a statement. RueLaLa.com has yet to say if it will permanently shutter SmartBargains.com, which was stil live as of this morning.
SmartBargains.com launched in 1999 as a competitor to Overstock.com Inc., No. 27 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and discount mass merchants. SmartBargains once had annual e-commerce sales in excess of $120 million. SmartBargains.com also contemplated becoming a public company around 2005.
But in recent years RueLaLa.com, which was founded in 2008 and is No. 82 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has demonstrated more growth potential via its private-sales business model. For instance, the e-commerce operation includes Rue Local, which launched in 2010 in Boston as a competitor to Groupon and offers daily deals for local restaurants, spas, salons, retailers and events. Rue Local now offers discounts to consumers in some 10 cities. “RueLaLa.com has continued to see dramatic growth with nearly $300 million sales in 2011 and similar growth planned for 2012 and beyond,” the company says.
The consolidating of SmartBargains.com represents one of the biggest moves to date by RueLaLa.com, Rubin and Kynetic, which debuted in September. As a Kynetic business unit, RueLaLa operates RueLaLa.com and SmartBargains.com. Kynetic as a parent company encompasses three former GSI units that Rubin retained after eBay Inc. bought GSI last year: RueLaLa.com; a group of e-retail sites that sell team sports apparel; and ShopRunner, the multi-merchant free shipping program that competes with Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
GSI Commerce, an e-commerce services provider, was acquired by eBay Inc. for about $2.4 billion in June.