North Adams, MA-based global goods cataloger Eziba temporarily suspended operations this week and is now up for sale. The move came several months after a computer error sent tens of thousands of fall catalogs to the wrong addresses, resulting in lower-than-expected September and October.
Springfield, MA-based law firm Hendell Collins is facilitating the sale of the company, whose estimated revenue is $5 million-$10 million. A group of existing Eziba investors is interested in buying the company and will look to restart operations sometime in February, according to Bill Miller, who left his position as president/CEO on Jan. 18 by “mutual agreement.”
According to Eziba, a service provider mailed the fall catalogs to a file of infrequent customers rather than to a file of better-performing buyers. By the time the company found that out in October 2004, the damage was done. As a result, Eziba is finding it difficult to stay current with payments to some of its vendors. It laid off 12 of its 18 employees on Jan. 14.
Eziba was founded as a Website in 1999; it launched a print catalog in 2000. Eziba also operates a freestanding store in Boston, a shop in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, and an outlet store near its corporate offices.
Ironically, the news comes on the heels of what the company says was a successful holiday season. Sales were up substantially from holiday 2003, and Eziba attracted a record number of new customers.