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Zulily mulls closing U.K. operations


Seattle -- A Seattle-based flash sales site may pare its operations overseas, as a Forbes report on Thursday said that Zulily may shutter its United Kingdom operations, which currently serve as the concept’s first and only international office. According to Zulily CEO Darrell Cavens in a Forbes interview, changes in the apparel flash site’s international focus has led the company to consider its options.

Zulily has been challenged by falling stock prices, following a November 2013 initial public offering. Abandoning the U.K., which is the only market to have its own regional website and office, won’t mean a complete departure from the region, as Zulily will continue to sell to the U.K., as well as to Canada and Australia.

Cavens stressed to Forbes that it would take at least a month for the company to make a decision on the U.K. office and its 50 employees. The U.K. site was launched in 2012, and it hasn’t fulfilled expectations, said Cavens. While U.K. sales grew by 40% in the company’s third quarter, it was outpaced by the improvements seen in Canada and Australia and accounted for less than 1.5% of the company’s $287 million in sales.

Still, Cavens says the company remains committed to aggressively exploring sales in other international markets. It did $1 billion in revenue in the last 12 months.

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