Today’s WWD has more details about what happened to cause the demise of Girlshop. After almost 10 years in business, Internet pioneer Girlshop is
shutting down, a victim of the popular formula it helped create.
Laura Eisman said her two-year-old brick-and-mortar store in the
Meatpacking District could have stayed open, but challenges to the
online business dragged it under. It was one of the first online retailers to turn a profit, and although
Girlshop never attracted venture capital backing, it grew steadily
through the dot-com boom and the bust.
By 2004, revenues had reached almost $5 million, but the online store
hit a plateau as chain retailers, department stores and dozens of
boutiques in the U.S. and overseas started selling a similar mix of
clothes and accessories from contemporary and emerging designers.
Bigger players such as Shopbop, owned by Amazon.com, offer free overnight shipping and discounts Girlshop couldn’t match.
Six weeks ago, the company vacated its corporate offices on 14th Street
and cut most of its staff, who received final paychecks. The inventory
was transferred to the Meatpacking District store, which is still open.
The company has the lease until the end of the month. A liquidation
sale starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. The Web site is still up,
but stopped accepting orders two weeks ago.
The company is in debt and has no cash, but has not filed for
reorganization. Girlshop owes "a lot of vendors small amounts of
money," Eisman said, declining to specify the size of the debt.
"We will liquidate what we can and, hopefully — I don’t think the creditors will be paid in full but, hopefully, something." Eisman and her husband and business partner, Todd Richter, also have
credit card debt and bank loans they secured personally. For the last
eight months, they have searched for a buyer or investor, but their
last hope for a partnership fell through last week.
Read WWD’s full story here