E-commerce solutions firm GSI Commerce is buying up Retail Convergence, the owner of invitation-only, discounted luxury shopping site Rue La La and discount shopping site SmartBargains for up to $350 million. GSI is paying $180 million in cash and stock, along with a $170 million earn out. Rue La La partnered with Hachette Filipacchi’s Elle.com this summer so that Elle.com readers could get access to some of its two-day long sales. At the time, Retail Convergence CEO Ben Fischman told us that his company was looking at additional media deals.
In a statement, GSI Commerce says the purchase of the two properties will give its customers — who it already provides with services like back-end technology needed to run their e-commerce stores and interactive marketing — will now have a “new way of selling opportunistic inventory.” GSI’s last major acquisition was its purchase of e-mail marketing and newsletters firm e-Dialog for $157 million in January 2008. More in the release.