QVC and HSN parent company Qurate Retail has sold online retailer Zulily to investment firm Regent, which also owns retail and apparel brands including Club Monaco, DIM Paris, Escada, DryBar, Sassoon and Wonderbra.
Details of the transaction were not disclosed, beyond the fact that Qurate paid down Zulily’s outstanding debt of $80 million prior to closing and Zulily will no longer be a co-borrower on QVC’s bank credit facility. The company also said that based on the terms of the sale agreement, “there is potential for Qurate Retail to receive an earnout in future years,” without providing further details.
The sale of Zulily is part of Qurate’s three-year transformation strategy, launched in June 2022 and dubbed Project Athens. The company is working to optimize its brand portfolio and focus its efforts on the visual commerce segment of retail.
“We are confident Regent is the right partner for Zulily to continue serving its customers, while benefiting from Regent’s depth of operational and strategic expertise in the retail and apparel sectors,” said David Rawlinson, President and CEO of Qurate Retail in a statement. “We are in the midst of a turnaround at Qurate Retail. This divestiture will allow our management team to better focus on our core video commerce assets, QVC and HSN, and the Cornerstone Brands, while preserving liquidity to further strengthen our balance sheet.”
QVC paid $2.4 billion for Zulily when it bought the then-thriving flash sale site back in 2015. Qurate isn’t alone in offloading digital brands it bought during the DTC boom of that decade; Walmart has been selling off a number of the ecommerce companies it bought during the same period, including Modcloth, Shoes.com, Bonobos and Eloquii, among others.
Michael Reinstein, Chairman of Regent, said in a statement that he looks forward to helping Zulily “return to its entrepreneurial roots as an independent business.” He added: “Zulily has been a trailblazer in using technology to create a compelling online customer experience. Their revolutionary logistics and fulfillment network has also set a new industry standard, and we are excited to leverage its immense potential to grow the Zulily business in new markets.”