It seems counter-intuitive, but one national retailer is shutting down its e-commerce business because it just isn't doing enough volume.
MarketWatch reports that Burlington Stores, which used to be known as Burlington Coat Factory, is "going to end its e-commerce operation and focus on growing its bricks-and-mortar business."
CEO Michael O'Sullivan says that "e-commerce only accounts for 0.5% of sales, and the company’s efforts would be better spent on stores. 'In our business, which is a moderate off-price business, the nature of the treasure hunt and the average price point that we operate at mean that bricks-and-mortar stores have a significant competitive and economic advantage over e-commerce'," he says.
One thing that Burlington does plan to expand is its store network, which currently consists of 720 units. There are 54 new ones planned for 2020, but they will be smaller, at less than 40,000 square feet, than the traditional stores that Burlington has operated.
- KC's View:
I'm not here to lecture Burlington on the questionable wisdom of doing something that seems so contrary to where the marketplace is going. Sometimes, when everybody else is going in one direction, it makes sense to challenge conventional wisdom.
But I have to wonder if the problem actually is that Burlington simply didn't execute an e-commerce strategy very effectively. Sometimes, it is my experience, people say that something didn't work, but what they're missing is the fact that they just didn't do it very well.
There's a difference.