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Thursday April 24, 2014

NY Startups Struggle with Online Sales, Websites After #Sandy

Twilight over New York, NY

Twilight over New York, NY (Photo credit: Grufnik)

As power returns to lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy, technology startups are getting back on their feet. Fab.com Inc., Warby Parker, Gilt Groupe Inc., Buzzfeed, and Thrillist all reopened their offices on Monday for the first time in a week. Most startup tech companies are located in lower Manhattan, and were left power-less when Sandy hit last week. According to The Wall Street Journal there were also issues in other locations. For instance, Fab lost electricity at two of its warehouses in NJ and at its offices located one block from the Hudson River. Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab,¬†estimated that about 50,000 orders were backed up because of Sandy.¬†Goldberg said, “If you’re in retail, you basically spend from June to October getting ready for the holidays. This couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

Spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Jake Goldman,¬†reported that all of the tech companies he had spoken to had power back, and that the biggest issue remaining is lack of Internet connectivity and heat for tech companies in DUMBO. Thrillist suffered a 30% loss in online sales last week because it couldn’t introdcue new items for at least three days.
Mike Novotny, general manager of JackThreads, the online store owned by Thrillist, worries that the storm will make it difficult for the company to receive clothing deliveries necessary for the five-day shopping blitz between Thanksgiving and “Cyber Monday,” which accounted for 40% of the company’s sales last November.