Help Wanted at Proozy.com: Daily Deals A Draw In Uncertain Times
While department stores remain shuttered and overall retail sales plunge, e-commerce retailer Proozy.com is working overtime to receive the overstock at its Eagan headquarters and keep up with increased consumer demand for daily deals on running shoes, activewear and hoodies
“Some economists have attempted to argue that apparel and fashion retail is somewhat non-essential, but our data and research suggests that almost all shoppers view clothing and footwear products as essential for people to live, work, and get outdoors,” founder and CEO Jeremy Segal wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn. “Proozy is about supporting families, keeping them active, and saving them money, especially at a time like this—when keeping families healthy both physically and emotionally while being smart about spending is of utmost importance.”
Jeremy Segal talked about the future of retail on TCB podcast By All Means
Proozy is in the process of hiring 50 fulfillment workers to its overall team of 100. “We have safety masks, gloves, and unlimited coffee!” Segal posted on LinkedIn. In an interview with TCB on Tuesday, he said about a third of the Proozy office staff is working from home right now; “the rest are spread out in our conference rooms, break rooms and offices.”
Some retailers are struggling to keep up with erratic and changing shopping habits due to Covid-19, but Segal believes Proozy was well positioned to react quickly. “Because our expert shoppers source deals from across the globe, our inventory mix is always in flux; once a product lot is sold out, it’s gone. Proozy has never made guarantees of continuous supply of the same product to our customers; predictable inventory is not part of our promise to our customers…and that’s what keeps customers coming back – sometimes several times a week – just to see what’s new.”
Overall retail sales are expected to be down 8 percent for March, according to Dow Jones. That’s the largest monthly decline on record, a Grant Thornton economist told CNBC, and April could be worse.
As a result, desirable merchandise is plentiful for a liquidator like Proozy.“Our brand/vendor partners are in desperate need to ship merchandise due to all the cancellations from T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom, and others,” Segal said. The biggest challenge, he added, is shipping and receiving “on a skeleton crew.” Thus, the staffing up. Proozy has also allowed its full-time workers to take off what time they need with a guarantee that their job will be there when the return.
Proozy his $40 million in revenue for 2019 and before the Covid-19 crisis, Segal said he expected to double that this year. He’s not altering that forecast now.
“Our stance on retail has been the same prior to the pandemic: Our customer doesn’t have time in their busy life to shop. They want a deal, they want famous brands, and they expect to shop at a place they trust. At the end of the day we are accomplishing these objectives as we grow and the large retailers and department stores are not setup to make this happen.”
For more on the future of retail and how Segal plans to continue growing the company he started at age 16 with no outside investors, listen to his interview on the latest episode of the By All Means podcast, now available for download on most major platforms.