Gilt Groupe is a flash-sales fashion site that’s more like a living, breathing magazine than an eCommerce business.
Although it’s not yet profitable, Gilt Groupe is reportedly on track to do $500 million in revenue this year, up from $270 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 2010.
Last year, we ran through its 200,000 square foot Brooklyn warehouse/office facility, which is where it has its photo studios and shipping operations. When Gilt moved into the space in November of 2007, it only needed 500 square feet.
Given its recent $138 million round, we wanted to revisit how Gilt has become a tremendous success, and what goes on behind the scenes.
Click here for a tour of Gilt’s giant Brooklyn office >
Disclosure: Gilt cofounder and chairman Kevin Ryan is also cofounder and chairman of Business Insider.
This rusting building is opposite Gilt Groupe and runs the length of the road that leads you to Gilt.
Here's our Sherpa through Gilt's operations, Amanda Graber. We're about to enter the warehouse/offices.
Employees pull the merchandise, sort it by style, colour and size. Then slap individual Gilt labels on each product.
Here's quality control. On high end items, Gilt inspects every garment. For the rest, Gilt checks about 5% for quality. If there are problems, it expands the check.
This is the most secure spot in the warehouse. It is where all the jewelry is kept. Only a few people are allowed inside, and it's monitored by a camera. This is also where Gilt's Brooklyn office started.
Gilt has numerous photo studios in its Brooklyn offices. It has the largest in-house studio set-up in New York. Everyone else rents.
Gilt shoots models and merchandise day and night in two separate sessions. Here's where the models sit for hair and makeup
Gilt uses models instead of mannequins because customers connect better with real people, they say. Gilt lists the sizes of the models on its site so people buying the clothes know how to think about the fit they're seeing.
Here's where they shoot bags and jewelry. These are harder than clothes. A model wears clothes, which gives the clothes a certain amount of action. Bags and jewelry just sit there.
A big part of Gilt's appeal is that it's not using stock images provided by companies. Gilt shoots 40 pieces per day from 3 different angles
Music was pumping in the background, and Gilt's employees took a dance break here and bid us farewell.
Here's an exterior shot of Gilt's neighbourhood as we leave. Like we said, it's not much to look at...
But, these exteriors are useful for the photo shoots Gilt uses on its site. Take a close look at this shot, it's very possible Gilt will use this same angle for an upcoming photo shoot.
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