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Former eBayer Sells Flash Sales Site to Bed Bath and Beyond

As head of “Seller Experience,” Dinesh Lathi was the face of eBay to many sellers, attending Town Hall meetings and top-seller events and posting many of the announcements that affected sellers on the eBay Announcement Board.

Lathi left eBay in 2011 to become CEO at One Kings Lane, a home decor flash-sales site that was once valued at nearly a billion dollars.

But that was then, and this is now. When looking to sell his company, Lathi didn’t turn to eBay for bidders – he found a Buy It Now buyer in retail chain Bed Bath & Beyond, which announced this week it will acquire One Kings Lane for a “not material” price in an all-cash deal (PayPal not accepted).

Flash sales were once trendy, with even eBay itself jumping on the bandwagon, but no longer. CNBC reported on Wednesday that One Kings Lane got caught up in a shakeout of the sites that offer a “select few products on a daily or weekly basis,” writing that the sale “concludes a rapid downward spiral” for the company.

The Wall Street Journal said flash-sale sites were “a concept that appears to have had its day.” It also referred to One Kings Lane as a “fading flash-sale site” that it said would not solve Bed Bath & Beyond’s problems.

Here’s how the retail chain describes its latest acquisition:

“One Kings Lane works directly with home furnishings brands, vintage dealers, designers and tastemakers to offer a curated merchandise assortment. Additionally, they deliver design inspiration and expert style advice. They also offer complimentary interior design services at its two design studios located in San Francisco and New York.”

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven H. Temares said One Kings Lane would serve as a cornerstone for its growing offerings in furniture and home decor, “and together we will be able to do even more for and with our collective customers wherever, whenever and however they wish to interact with us, and to further our mission to be viewed as the expert for the home.”

Lathi was also quoted in the announcement, stating his company would benefit from additional support and resources and gain exposure to new customers. “We look forward to being able to continue to differentiate our product offerings and refine our point of view to further delight our current and future customers.”

Bed Bath & Beyond operates websites at bedbathandbeyond.com, worldmarket.com, buybuybaby.com, christmastreeshops.com, harmondiscount.com, ofakind.com, and now, onekingslane.com. It also operates 1,530 stores under various names.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.