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Marlin Brands buys Zanui

Collapsed online furniture retailer Zanui has been rescued by the company behind the Willow and Decor homeware brands, Marlin Brands, which is majority owned by Oaktree Capital Management and Alceon Group.

The lifestyle wholesaler acquired the online-only retailer out of administration for $4.8 million, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Zanui’s CEO Yosuke Hall called it the best possible outcome for Zanui customers, employees and suppliers.

“Partnering with Marlin and its global owners enables us to assure our customers that they can continue to trade on the Zanui platform and have every confidence in the financial stability, service experience and quality of the products we trade,” Hall said.

The e-commerce business entered voluntary administration in October amid increased competition in the furniture and homeware sector and slowing consumer spending.

The AFR reported that the company had also been impacted by online marketing mistakes, which caused newsletters to land in customers’ junk boxes, the closure of a key supplier and a change in PayPal’s terms, which hurt cashflow.

Hall said the focus now is on reaching out to customers who were left in the lurch with unfilled orders or returns they could not make.

Tipping point for online furniture sector

Basil Karam, co-founder and CEO of Life Interiors, a furniture brand that sells through Zanui, said his business has not been impacted by the ordeal.

“Our multichannel approach means the VA process didn’t really impact us,” Karam said in an email to Internet Retailing.

Life Interiors has bricks-and-mortar showrooms and its own e-commerce site, as well as a marketplace presence on Zanui, Temple & Webster, Catch, eBay and MyDeal.

“I know the team at Zanui very well and have worked closely with them over the last few years,” he wrote.

“I wish them all the best in the years ahead. Their partnership with the Marlin Group is a fantastic outcome for the team and it will reinvigorate the brand going forward.”

Despite the sluggish housing market taking a toll on furniture and homeware retailers, Karam believes 2020 will be a strong year for those businesses operating online.

“It’s at a tipping point,” he said, citing King Furniture’s launch of the online store,, Adair’s purchase of Mocka and the Zanui rescue.

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