Beyond Acquires Zulily, Plans to Revive Brand in Q2

Screenshot of current Zulily homepage.

Beyond, Inc. — parent company of Bed Bath & Beyond and Overstock.com — has acquired the intellectual property of defunct flash-sale retailer Zulily, following that platform’s abrupt wind-down of its business in late 2023. Newly appointed Beyond, Inc. Executive Chairman Marcus Lemonis said the acquisition is aimed at strengthening Beyond’s position in the off-price market.

Beyond paid $4.5 million in cash for the Zulily website and domain names, trademarks, tradenames, customer database, social media accounts and software, and said in a statement that it expects the Zulily site to be “fully functional” by the end of Q2 2024. The transaction excludes all of Zulily’s liabilities, liens and debts, as well as the company’s remaining inventory and two fulfillment centers, which advisory firm Gordon Brothers was engaged to sell off in late January 2024.

“This acquisition doubles down on our belief in the off-price market, and its importance to building our business, improving our margin profile and growing our customer file,” said Lemonis in a statement. “Zulily, in combination with our legacy brand, Overstock, will provide our vendors multiple outlets that not only meet customers at various price points, but also offer an additional outlet to improve their inventory turns and financial performance.”

News of the acquisition comes just weeks after Beyond’s about-face with regard to the treatment of its original Overstock.com brand. When Overstock initially bought the Bed Bath & Beyond brand’s IP out of bankruptcy in June 2023, the company changed both its corporate name (now Beyond, Inc.) and rebranded the current Overstock.com website to BedBathandBeyond.com.

However, following the abrupt departure in November 2023 of Beyond CEO Jonathan Johnson, who had overseen the BB&B acquisition and subsequent strategy, Lemonis said during the company’s Q4 earnings call that dropping the Overstock name was a “fatal mistake.” Now Beyond, Inc. plans to relaunch Overstock.com as a standalone site later this month.

That process and the Zulily acquisition will be overseen by a new leadership team, appointed in late February 2024, that includes Lemonis as well as longtime Overstock executive David Nielsen serving as that brand’s CEO and former Conn’s Plus President and CEO Chandra Holt leading Bed Bath & Beyond.

“This acquisition marks a strategic step forward in the transformation and long-term growth of Beyond,” added Lemonis. “We’re excited about the global vendor pool this acquisition opens the door to, driving incremental revenue by reengaging Zulily’s 18 million customers as well as the existing Beyond customer database with significant synergies across product categories.”

News of Zulily’s demise first broke in December 2023, when the company began to advertise a liquidation sale on its website and filed several Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications (WARNs) outlining planned layoffs. At the time, the Zulily website was replaced by a one-page letter from VP Ryan Baker commenting on the decision to shutter the business, but now the site displays a “Coming Soon” message. Almost immediately after the liquidation sale began, Zulily filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming that anticompetitive practices by Amazon played a large part in its downfall.

“Bringing the trusted Zulily brand into our asset-light business model allows us to offer furniture and home furnishings, apparel and footwear, jewelry and watches, among other categories that are also core competencies of our off-price Overstock business with flash sale deal pricing,” said Overstock CEO Nielsen in a statement. “The ramp with Zulily is simple, as the website and mobile app are already built and available in the Shopify environment. We will be able to integrate it seamlessly into our backend systems for order fulfillment, logistics and operations to be handled by our existing teams.”