Backcountry.com Q4 Hurt by Retail’s Early Markdowns, Vendor-Owned Retail…

” Growing competition from department stores and vendor’s

own direct-to-consumer channels, as well as early markdowns

of winter products by some major outdoor retailers,

emerged as headwinds at Backcountry.com in the fourth

quarter, according to statements by the CEO of its parent

company.

The lack of early snow and cold weather in some parts of

the Western United States reduced demand for outdoor

gear, “but, we also see increased competition not only

from department stores,” said Greg Maffei, president and

CEO of Liberty Interactive Corp.

Maffei added that the decision by some major outdoor retailers

to begin liquidating winter products earlier than

usual and growing competition from other online specialty

retailers emerged as headwinds for Backcountry, although

“its efforts in the cycling area were very effective.”

Backcountry.com is part of LINTA’s E-commerce Division,

which includes a variety of retail and wholesale businesses.

LINTA reported last week that revenues at the division

grew 8 percent to $487 million in the fourth quarter

and 12 percent to $1.7 billion for the year.

The company attributed the growth to increased marketing

efforts driving additional traffic, investments in

site improvements, increased shipping charges and

broader inventory offerings. Growth was also driven by

discounting to move seasonal winter inventory.

Revenue growth at CommerceHub, which provides fulfillment

solutions for multi-channel merchants, and the

fitness site Bodybuilding.com, helped offset declines at

Celebrate Interactive Holdings LLC, which sells party

supplies on line, and Red Envelope, a women’s gift

site. As a whole, however, the division continued to

generate operating losses in both Q4 and the full year.

Adjusted OIBDA decreased 29 percent to $25 million

for the quarter and 11 percent to $85 million for the

year due to lower product margins from continued

product discounts and promotions. Additionally, increased

credit card charge-backs impacted the annual

results.

Operating income improved by $18 million to a loss of

$21 million for the quarter and improved by 38 percent

to a loss of $50 million for the year.”

– The Boss Report

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