Qurate Retail Group Sells Zulily to Private Equity Firm
Qurate Retail Group, the owner of shopping networks QVC and HSN, has sold online retailer Zulily to private equity investment firm Regent for an undisclosed sum. Regent owns and operates several consumer brands, including Club Monaco, DIM Paris, La Senza, Escada, and DiamondBack.
Terry Boyle, a former Nordstrom executive and e-commerce veteran, was named Zulily’s president and CEO in March 2022. He's expected to continue to lead Zulily’s management team.
The divestiture, according to Qurate, aligns with Project Athens, the company’s multiyear turnaround plan introduced last year and designed to stabilize the core businesses and expand the company’s leadership in video streaming commerce. The five-point plan includes actions intended to strengthen customer relationships, improve execution, reduce costs, optimize the brand portfolio, and grow faster in streaming.
Total Retail's Take: This moves make sense for Qurate, as Zulily — originally a flash-sale site that has been a trailblazer in using technology to create a compelling online customer experience — has been struggling for some time.
At the start of 2022, for example, Zulily began work on a transformation strategy, which included layoffs of its corporate workforce and the closure of its fulfillment center in Bethlehem, Pa. In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 22, Zulily posted a 28 percent decline in revenue to $254 million due in large part to lower unit volume. Zulily also saw its revenue drop 17 percent to $192 million for the first quarter ended March 31. Lastly, Qurate eliminated 85 roles at Zulily in March after cutting 400 corporate jobs a month earlier.