Gilt, Rue La La Experience Big Layoffs

Two major flash sale sites, which sell brand name products—including jewelry—for a limited time at steep discounts, each initiated dramatic layoffs in January.

Gilt, considered the market leader in the category, has laid off some 80 to 90 people and shut many of its Gilt City offices, according to a statement released to Daily Deal Media and other news sources.

Among those leaving are executives John Auerbach, head of the company’s men’s division, and Nate Richardson, who ran Gilt City.

The news comes on the heels of another major flash seller, Rue La La, laying off some 60 staff members earlier this month, according to The Boston Globe.

The company also closed its sister site, smartbargains.com.

Despite their recent problems, these sites still represent significant businesses. Rue La La told the Globe that it did $300 million in sales in 2011. And Gilt sold $500 million in 2010.

The sites’ press offices did not respond to JCK’s requests for comment.