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Why Do Customers Want Gilt to Feel the Guilt? Gilt CEO Responds to Controversy!

Gilt Group was probably pretty stoked to score a sneak peek sale of the coveted capsule collections from Target’s designer collaborations. But what turned out to be – what they probably thought was a great big coup- a marketing and PR nightmare. Why?

Gilt put up a sneak peek and presale of selected items from Tucker, Mulberry and John Derian. The items sold out quickly, but there was a great big very fashionable demographic who was not buying, those who support the LGBT community. See Target, made their own PR faux pas by donating $150,000 to Tom Emmer – a Minnesota politician who opposes gay marriage.

Today on Gilt Groupe’s Facebook page there are oodles of messages posted on their wall ranging from… “I can’t believe that GILT stands behind Target and a politician who supports a group that has called for the execution of LGBT people…” to “Gilt – I will miss you but just cannot be a part of your support of Target and their funding of hate based anti gay politics. I can’t be a part of that GILT by Association.”

And they at Gilt have been listening. Their CEO chimed in with the following message:

Some of you have noted that Gilt benefits from the efforts and talent of the LGBT community — and you are absolutely right. We consider ourselves lucky to work in an industry that flourishes precisely beca…use it embraces diversity and change. As a company and a community we are better, more creative, more successful because of the contributions of our LGBT colleagues.

The sale we are doing with Target today is the result of many months of work on the part of Gilt employees and Target team members far removed from decisions about corporate political contributions. I am grateful to both groups for the care and effort they put into bringing something special to our respective customers. Whether you visit the sale today or not, please know that we will continue to celebrate the contributions of our LGBT employees and vendor partners and to support their events wherever we can. As always, thank you for engaging with us, today and every day.
—Susan Lyne, CEO, Gilt Groupe

Would you shop at Gilt? Or would you stay away?

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