retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It has been a tough week for e-commerce companies.

Ahold Delhaize announced that it would close down the midwest operations of its Peapod e-commerce business - abandoning the market where it started more than two decades ago.

Then online store Brandless, created less than three years ago to sell "simply branded household, personal care, baby, and pet products on the cheap," and in doing so compete effectively with Amazon, said it is going out of business.

And now Axios reports that "Hollar, an e-commerce company that raised more than $75 million in VC funding, is expected to wind down soon."  Hollar launched in 2015, the story says, "to help users find dollar store-like bargains on branded consumables, ranging from kitchen goods to toys to beauty products."

Sources tell Axios that the economics of the site never worked out, and the company started looking for a buyer last year.

KC's View:

Indeed, it may end up being a tough year for some of these companies.  We're at the end of a ten-year economic boom, and when gravity kicks in - as it inevitably must - a lot of companies may have to re-evaluate their ability to survive in far tougher times.  What we're seeing now may be early days of exactly this.