Rue La La, Gilt, and Groupon: Friends or Foes?

Online sales are only growing in popularity, so let's work with (not against) themContrary to popular reports, Rue La La, Gilt Groupe, and Groupon are not the devil, so put away your torches.For those who aren’t avid cyber-shoppers, here’s some background: Rue La La and Gilt Groupe run a similar model of online private sales. Each is a limited event offering up to 70 percent off top-tier brands of apparel, jewelry, and home goods. (The sites are now even venturing into travel.) Groupon offers big discounts too, but with a twist: Instead of selling products, Group­on posts daily local deals that require shoppers to visit a retailer. Sites like Rue La La and Gilt pose the clearest threat to retail ­jewelers. They offer the same brands you carry, and possibly the exact designs you once sold, at a much lower price. But consider this: They cater to millions of daily shoppers,

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