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Gazelle bounds into Boston's Fort Point Channel; outsources logistics to Texas firm

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 14, 2011 08:25 AM

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Gazelle chief executive Israel Ganot mentioned to me over the weekend that his company is planning a move this summer from Allston to Boston's Fort Point Channel neighborhood. The company buys and sells used consumer electronics, from Blu-ray DVD players to gaming consoles; it has cleverly dubbed its business "re-commerce."

Ganot says the company is moving about 80 of its 100 full-time employees into 22,000 square feet of space on Thomson Place. As part of the move, Gazelle is shifting all of its operational activities — like receiving, inspecting, photographing, and shipping the used items — to Dallas, Texas. That facility will be run by Teleplan, a logistics firm that Gazelle contracts with, but about a half-dozen Gazelle employees will relocate to Texas, or split their time between Texas and Boston, Ganot says.

To prepare for that change, Ganot says the company has been reducing the size of its internal operations staff through attrition, and dialing down its use of contract and temporary employees. He adds via e-mail, "Many other full-time employees are in the midst of transitioning into new roles in our growing Boston team, including customer care, eCommerce, and customer experience. As many of our operations employees are also local students, some will also be moving into internship and mentorship programs this summer, mostly in our marketing department."

As for the move to Fort Point Channel — a neighborhood included in the City of Boston's Innovation District initiative — Ganot writes, "Locating the new office near public transit was key in our decision to move, but the option to be near like-minded companies and be a part of rejuvenating that area, along with the boost we felt it would give us in local brand awareness (both in terms of our service and recruiting), all combined to make it the most attractive option."

He says the company plans to add about ten more employees at the new Boston office by the end of 2011.

Ganot says Gazelle has engaged the Boston non-profit Artists for Humanity to create some artwork for Gazelle's new headquarters — using all recycled materials.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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