Less than two years after going public, Internet retailer Zulily Inc. is selling itself for a fraction of its post-IPO high as the flash-sale strategy it helped pioneer has lost its allure among consumers.
The Seattle-based company agreed to be acquired by Liberty Interactive Corp., the parent of home shopping network QVC, in a cash-and-stock deal that values Zulily at around $2.4 billion.
Zulily shares surged 49% on Monday to $18.74, but Liberty is buying the company at a discount to its initial public offering price.
The reason for the decline has been a reversal in Zulily’s fortunes. Founded in 2010 as a retailer of toys and children’s clothes, Zulily grew to top $1 billion in annual sales last year as it expanded into adult apparel and home goods.