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Internet fulfillment house, my client, unexpectedly announced last night that “as of this morning, will, for all practical purposes, cease to exist.” The news came in an email to merchant clients from the founder and President, Paul Purdue. No more orders being shipped by the multi-million dollar company, no more incoming deliveries being accepted, no more returns being processed. The email came out of the blue this morning.
I am so sorry to see one of the nicest people I ever met in such a dreadful spot. iFulfill has been a small but wonderfully engaging client for my company and I am appalled to see this happen.
News Flies Virally
In an indication of just how transparent the Internet is today, a trade publication already had the story on their blog this morning – immediately after I and most of the company’s dedicated team of employees received the email. Many are working free right now to help wrap things up.
Down, But Not Out
To say I was surprised is a wild understatement. Since we re-did the company website several months ago, been flooded with inquiries and signed more than a dozen new clients. Google ad campaigns we managed were showing conversion rates as high as 50 percent. Like everyone else involved, I thought everything was going well. I guess Paul did his cheerleading too well.
This is undoubtedly a painful situation not only for a customer service champion like Paul Purdue, but for his highly dedicated team of employees. The email closed “I apologize for the trauma that this will undoubtedly cause, and I will work hard to minimize the impact on you and your business.”
Paul Purdue is a smart and innovative entrepreneur. Like many before him, he’ll learn from his failure and I am 1000% certain he will come back stronger next go round. I’ll be rooting for him.