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E-commerce for independent retailers stifled by closure

06 February 2012 - 12:47 by Mike Price

Share on, a website founded in Sheffield to provide smaller retailers with a means of delivering safe shopping online, without investing in their own e-commerce platforms, has been forced to close due to reasons beyond the control of its managers.

Frooly's founder, Michael Ord, had established the site three years ago to help independent stores compete in an online market which is particularly tough to crack if you do not have many resources.

The company had initially gained significant investment from a number of parties but in 2012, a range of factors have influenced its closure. It seems clear that Mr Ord would have liked to keep the site open for business, but it will be taken offline this week.

Mr Ord told Insider Media Limited, that Frooly would no longer be providing safe shopping online for people with an interest in specialist items and luxury goods offered by unique UK retailers, because investor confidence had waned and the current economic crisis was making it difficult to continue operating.

Late deliveries, missing items and the presence of several direct rivals with much bigger backing were also cited as key to the closure.

Over 1,300 UK businesses had been signed up to Frooly and it had been hoping to expand south to operate in London, but this now looks as though it will never be achieved.

Of course the retail market is going through a particularly tumultuous time at the moment and a string of major names have been wiped off the high street and the web in quick succession, so it is perhaps not surprising to see one of the smaller players also taking a tumble. Hopefully, the slack will be picked up by other sites willing to offer something a bit different.