Online retailer Zulily is shutting down and entering liquidation, following layoffs and other struggles. Summarizing its next steps, details posted to Zulily’s website listed what customers and vendors should expect from the company, which specialized in women’s and children’s apparel.
Ultimately, stakeholders deemed the decision to wind down “necessary” in order “to maximize value for the companies’ creditors,” according to the notice from Douglas Wilson Companies, the firm overseeing the liquidation.
Why Zulily is shutting down
“This decision was not easy nor was it entered into lightly,” Ryan C. Baker, vice president at Douglas Wilson Companies, wrote in the message posted to Zulily’s site. “However, given the challenging business environment in which Zulily operated, and the corresponding financial instability, Zulily decided to take immediate and swift action.”
The Seattle-based company, which was founded in 2010, fought for years to compete with Amazon and other major retailers. Zulily even filed a lawsuit as recently as Dec. 11 against Amazon, accusing the ecommerce giant of trying to destroy Zulily through price-fixing.
How unfulfilled Zulily orders will be handled
In the announcement about Zulily shutting down, Baker noted that the company intends to fulfill all pending orders where possible. Then, it will then issue cancellations and refunds in the remaining cases. The statement lists January 22, 2024, as the date by which that process should be completed.
The liquidation news follows a tumultuous year for Zulily. Private equity firm Regent and Baker acquired it in May. Terms were not publicly disclosed for the transaction, which saw Zulily leave Qurate Retail Group. Previously, Zulily became part of a portfolio at Qurate alongside QVC and HSN after Qurate (then operating as Liberty Interactive) acquired Zulily for $2.4 billion in 2015.
Qurate ranks No. 18 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest North American e-retailers by online sales.
Zulily’s layoffs and other issues in 2023
Earlier in the year, Zulily laid off hundreds of its employees. Notably, Terry Boyle, Zulily’s CEO departing at the end of October.
On Thursday, the online retailer’s Facebook page was still live. However, the homepage for its website, currently redirects to Baker’s letter about Zulily shutting down.
“We realize that this news comes with many questions, and we have put a team in place to address customer, vendor, and other interested party inquiries,” the letter explains. It lists information for Omni Agent Solutions, telling customers and vendors to use those points of contact for any inquiries.
Liquidation through ABC
Zulily will liquidate using a process known as Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC). As described in the official announcement, “an assignee – Zulily ABC, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Douglas Wilson Companies – will complete an orderly wind-down of the business to maximize the recovery for the companies’ creditors as a third-party fiduciary.”
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