” 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
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
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