Gordon Brothers is handling the sale of Zulily inventory and fixed assets having a value of more than $85 million.
The inventory includes nationally branded consumer products in apparel, footwear, beauty and housewares. The fixed assets include two 775,000-square-foot fulfillment centers, plus the machinery and related equipment housed there.
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Proceeds from the sale are slated for disbursement to Zulily’s creditors.
“This is a great opportunity to acquire a wide selection of well-known nationally branded fashion and home products inventory,” said Ulos Anderson, Gordon Brothers’ senior managing director, commercial and industrial.
“Zulily’s decision to shut down operations was not entered into lightly, and we’re confident our partnership will maximize value for all parties,” added Michael Guelfo, Gordon Brothers’ managing director, commercial and industrial.
What doesn’t appear to be part of the sale are Zulily’s intellectual property assets. Thus far, they remain under the ownership of Los Angeles-based private equity firm Regent LP. It acquired the struggling and money-losing Zulily business from Qurate Retail Inc. in May 2023 for an undisclosed amount.
A little over six months after its acquisition, Regent in December decided to pull the plug on the business. Layoffs will begin for 292 workers on Feb. 7 for the mom-minded online marketplace, according to Washington state data published last month. Layoffs are expected to total 800 after other offices and warehouses are shuttered, according to state-required notice filings. The website operation was fully disabled in December. Some of the brands that had been sold on its site include Cole Haan, Reebok, Sorel and Lucky Brand.
But the business has long been plagued by troubles and other challenges as it tried to evolve from a children’s apparel flash-sale site. According to GeekWire in December, Zulily was sued by vendors over unpaid invoices. And the Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit accused Amazon of weaponizing its algorithm to stifle competition from rivals. It claimed that Amazon used its anti-discounting strategies to target Zulily following its “Best Price Promise” in 2019 that displayed lower price alongside the higher prices of identical products sold on Amazon or Walmart.com.
Co-founded by Mark Vadon and Darrel Cavens in 2009, Zulily was once a Wall Street tech darling after its 2013 IPO valued the company at $2.6 billion. But after hitting a market valuation peak north of $6.5 billion, along with $1 billion in annual volume, sales began slowing in 2014. That was around the time when some began questioning whether the flash-sale model was turning into a flash-in-the-pan moment among consumers.
Qurate, then better known as Liberty Interactive’s QVC division before the rebrand, acquired the company in August 2015 for $2.4 billion. But the business continued to struggle, with layoffs in 2019, 2022, and 2023.