1. Agencies & Vendors

Loblaw To Wind Down Third-Party Marketplace

The Toronto Sun reports that “Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it’s shutting down its third-party marketplace.”

Spokesperson Catherine Thomas tells the Sun that “the company has learned a lot about what customers are shopping for online, but that given the rapid change in e-commerce over the past three years, Loblaw has decided to focus on its grocery and pharmacy online shopping experiences.”

The Sun notes that “Loblaw launched the online marketplace in late 2019 to include new vendors through its PC Express service, offering items in the baby, toy, home, kitchen and pet categories.  The company said at the time that it would offer brands like Umbra and Lennox Furniture Inc. to provide shoppers with a curated assortment of products.”

KC’s View:

For some retailers, a third part marketplace that creates a long tail environment makes sense.  For others, it was just the bright shiny object that they thought would bring them additional revenue, but they didn’t really do anything to integrate it into their broader strategy and/or value proposition.

It these things are additive, they can work.  But if they’re just distractions, without any real level of commitment or vision, they subtract from a retailer’s brand equity.

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