Amazon Buys Into Group Buying In Europe

Jeff-Bezos-

Apparently, Zappos didn't fill Amazon's appetite for fashion. Looking to expand its global presence, Amazon on Thursday announced the acquisition of BuyVIP.com -- a European fashion and lifestyle "buying community."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but unconfirmed reports put the acquisition price at close to $100 million.

Spanning Spain, Germany, and Italy, BuyVIP claims over six million members, which it encourages to participate in "flash" sales featuring discounted luxury goods.

"BuyVIP.com is an excellent complement to Amazon's European business," said Greg Greeley, vice president, European Retail at Amazon.

And while neither Greeley or an Amazon spokeswoman would speculate on future plans, the invitation-only, discount luxury shopping market is booming in the United States.

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Following a $40 million investment this summer, industry leader Gilt Group was valued at $400 million.

In April, Delivery Agent, which made its name powering online commerce and marketing initiatives for TV networks, acquired discount-shopping site Billion Dollar Babes. In May, men's lifestyle newsletter and digital publication Thrillist acquired JackThreads, a member's-only retailer of discounted apparel.

Late last year, meanwhile, ecommerce services provider GSI Commerce agreed to buy Retail Convergence, the owner of sample sale site Rue La La and discount shopping site SmartBargains, for as much as $350 million. GSI said it would pay $180 million in cash and stock, along with an earn-out of up to $170 million.

To better position itself as a fashion resource, Amazon acquired apparel and footwear retailer Zappos.com last year for upwards of $900 million.

Still, domestic sales are clearly are not enough to meet Amazon's growth ambitions. As The Globe And Mail recently reported, the U.S. etailer is hoping to build a "fulfilment centre" in Canada. Amazon has been operating a Canadian arm since it launched Amazon.ca back in 2002.

Other countries where BuyVIP operates include Austria, Portgual, Poland and the Netherlands.

 

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