Showpo loses its second-in-command

Alex Durkin

Jane Lu’s right-hand woman, Alex Durkin, is leaving Showpo after seven years to start her own business.

One of the first outside hires to join Showpo in 2012, Durkin saw the retailer evolve from a physical store selling party outfits under the name Show Pony, to an online-only fashion brand with a team of more than 150 people and annual sales approaching $100 million.

During her tenure, Durkin helped manage three major website rebuilds, introduced a new warehouse management operations system, oversaw a complete rebrand of the business and was eventually named general manager of the fast growing company.

But now she is looking to pursue a venture of her own.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I am currently in the process of working through different business models for my next venture which will not necessarily be in fashion, or a physical product for that matter – so watch this space,” Durkin told Inside Retail.

Big shoes to fill

Durkin has been preparing to depart Showpo for the past year to ensure she leaves the business in as strong a position as possible. She discussed her plans with Lu along the way.

“It’s been a busy year aligning strategy and ensuring that the key people were in place,” she said.

Showpo will not immediately replace Durkin, who plans to leave next month, though Lu said she is currently working through some options.

“They’re big shoes to fill,” Lu said.

“She has not only helped grow the team and the business, but she has also been an incredible mentor and friend that has helped me develop personally and professionally as well.”

Lu credited Durkin with putting the systems and processes in place that have enabled Showpo to grow to the size it is today, while Durkin said she has learned many valuable lessons from Lu’s leadership.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through the business is success is all about people. Getting the right people, doing the right things at the right time,” she said.

Durkin and Lu announced the change on Thursday in posts on the company’s blog.

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