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Wayfair Inc (W 1.71%) shares closed down nearly 6 percent Friday after D.A. Davidson issued a bearish report expressing concern indicates over Overstock.com Inc's (OSTK 6.2%) comments that the online retailer would increase spending to take more market share in the home furnishing space.

Analyst Tom Forte downgraded Wayfair from Neutral to Underperform and maintained a price target of $65.

Wayfair’s plans to significantly increase advertising are likely a reaction to increased competition with Overstock.com Inc, Forte said in a Friday note. (See the analyst's track record here.)

“While we acknowledge that Overstock’s management has gone out of its way in the past to discredit Wayfair’s business model — investment spending to drive customer acquisition and market share — we believe increased competition for the online home category could have an ever greater negative impact on Wayfair's operating results" than initially suggested by the company's guidance, Forte said.

Liberty Interactive Corp (QVCA.O), which mainly houses media mogul John Malone’s e-commerce interests, said it will change its name to Qurate Retail Group and begin using the name once it completes its communications business GCI Liberty’s split-off.

Liberty said on Thursday Mike George, who is currently heading its TV shopping unit QVC Inc, will become chief executive officer of Qurate replacing Greg Maffei, who will become chairman.

Qurate will comprise of eight retail brands including QVC, namely HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements, the company said.

Separately, Liberty Interactive reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on Thursday as the company added more customers especially through mobile.

Qurate will trade under new tickers QRTEA, QRTEB on the Nasdaq.
However, shares of Liberty, which have risen nearly 53 percent in the last 12 months, were down 3 percent in morning trading.

HSN Inc. ended its time as a stand-alone public company with a continued slump in sales.

An earnings report from the new parent company of the St. Petersburg multichannel retailer detailed the declining financial status of HSN in its last few months of independence.

HSN is now part of Liberty Interactive Corp.’s QVC Group, which is rebranding as Qurate Retail Group Inc., and includes HSN, a video commerce business; Cornerstone Brands, an interactive lifestyle retail business; QVC and zulily. Liberty Interactive will begin using this new name once the company completes the split-off of GCI Liberty (formerly General Communication), as the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

In its ongoing fierce e-commerce battle with Amazon, Walmart has launched a new home shopping vertical on its website to better highlight products like furniture, accessories and other decorative items.

Playing into the Instagram-quality of many home furnishing sites, Walmart's site feature curated collections across nine style categories, including modern, mid-century, traditional, glam, industrial, bohemian, farmhouse, transitional and Scandinavian; it also uses editorial-style imagery and will include design tips written by in-house staff.

Jae Evans (C), vice president, Global Technical Engineering and Operations, Walmart e-commerce, looks on as Walmart employees work at the company’s network operations center in Sunnyvale, California, U.S. October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Nandita Bose

SAN BRUNO/SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Reuters) - One of Walmart Inc’s best chances at taking on Amazon.com Inc in e-commerce lies with six giant server farms, each larger than ten football fields.
These facilities, which cost Walmart millions of dollars and took nearly five years to build, are starting to pay off. The retailer’s online sales have been on a tear for the last three consecutive quarters, far outpacing wider industry growth levels.

Powering that rise are thousands of proprietary servers that enable the company to crunch almost limitless swathes of customer data in-house.

Amazon has explored everything from drones to smart door locks allowing deliveries to be made inside customer homes. Now the company is undertaking another part of the retail process: Shipping.

Amazon AMZN, +2.88% launched its own shipping service in Los Angeles this week, which will deliver packages directly from third party companies to consumers. The new “Shipping with Amazon” service cuts FedEx FDX, +1.39% and UPS UPS, +0.01% out of the equation to further streamline the delivery process.

Amazon already delivers some of its own orders in at least 37 U.S. cities and the company will roll out the service in more cities in coming weeks, The Wall Street Journalreported Friday.

The past few weeks have been a frenzy, as favorable reports by Wayfair and countermoves by Amazon have prompted a widening group of analysts and interested onlookers to debate a topic that we in the furniture industry have been discussing for some time – what will be the best way to sell furniture in the future?

I’ve enjoyed some fascinating discussions about these ongoing developments, including a conference call with Seth Basham, a Hardlines Equity Research Analyst at Wedbush Securities regarding the future of furniture online.

Wal-Mart is making a subtle change to its name in 2018 to compete with Amazon.

Wal-Mart will take the ‘Stores’ out of its name in February.

Wal-Mart is taking the “Stores” out of its name to indicate that you can shop with them however you want, executives said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is taking the stores out of Wal-Mart.

The retail behemoth with more than 11,700 locations around the world announced Wednesday that it will shorten its legal name to Walmart Inc. WMT, -0.84% The move highlights the company’s shift away from building traditional stores toward competing online with rival Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.01%

Home remodeling and design platform Houzz has announced the acquisition of IvyMark, a startup that has built a business management tool and engaged community for interior designers and other home design companies.

Financial details were not disclosed but media reports said sources close to the deal believe that Houzz will be paying $30 million to $40 million for IvyMark.

IvyMark’s platform enables interior designers to run their entire business more efficiently -- from sourcing products, creating estimates, and sending invoices, to managing vendor purchases.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up South Dakota’s lawsuit against Wayfair Inc., Overstock.com Inc. and Newegg Inc. If the court overturns current law, state and local governments could collect online sales tax from all online retailers, even if they don’t have a physical presence in their states. Internet Retailer asked retailers and consumers how they think a ruling—expected by the end of June after arguments this spring—will impact them. Here are the results.

It is not unusual to order a piece of furniture and realize, once it arrives, that it is completely wrong for your room. A red couch that looked amazing in the showroom may turn out to overwhelm your small space. And the last thing you want to do is invest in a heavy piece of furniture you have to pay to return.

To help visualize that couch in your living room, furniture sellers and interior design firms have been rolling out new apps and online programs that allow you to try furniture at home using virtual and augmented reality.

Jeffrey Naylor, who formerly held C-suite financial and administrative roles at retail giant TJX Companies Inc., is joining the board of Wayfair Inc., Boston's fast-growing e-commerce company. Before TJX (NYSE: TJX), Naylor was chief financial officer of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG).

Naylor will replace Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner at Battery Ventures who joined the board back in 2011 when Battery led Wayfair's first big investment round. The swap signals that Wayfair is transitioning from its startup roots into its role as a publicly traded pillar of Boston's tech industry, even as threats loom and acquisition speculation swirls.

 

Wayfair, the largest e-commerce outlet for furniture and home goods, is an often overlooked company growing at 40% y/y.

Furniture currently benefits from being one of the most under-penetrated categories in online shopping.

Wayfair has been slimming down its loss margins and maximizing the efficiency of its inventory.

The stock trades at one of the lowest EV/revenue multiples in e-commerce, suggesting the stock has plenty of room to run in 2018.

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