This Week in eCommerce: January 12 – 16

This week in eCommerce: after only two years in Canada we learned we’ll soon be saying goodbye to Target in the Great White North. After admitting that profitability was years away from being achieved, the corporation announced that it will discontinue its Canadian operations. eCommerce’s #GirlBoss and founder of the wildly popular fashion site for young trendsetters, Nasty Gal, announced that she would step down this week. Sophia Amoruso commented saying that the decision was her own and that she will still remain onboard as executive chairman of the company. There’s speculation in the air that New York-based online marketplace Etsy is planning for an IPO as soon as this quarter. Etsy is one of few eCommerce start-ups that have received a valuation of over $1 billion. If you hadn’t heard the buzz this week, an eCommerce gag site offering internet users the chance to mail glitter to their enemies blew-up in popularity almost overnight. The creator of said website is now reported to be regretful about his decision, and we don’t blame him, glitter is a nightmare to clean-up. For all the details from this week’s newsmakers read-on below!

Au Revoir Targé

Target Corporation Announces Plans to Discontinue Canadian Operations

Source: Target

I guess you could say we saw this coming. Any Canadian who shopped at Target Canada since its first arrival in the country almost two years ago could probably tell you this was coming. This week Target announced plans to discontinue Canadian operations, admitting that profitability for the corporation in the Great White North was nowhere in sight. Employing approximately 17,600 people and with 133 stores in the country, Target has made provisions to ensure its employees will receive 16 weeks of compensation during the wind-down. Canadian operations for the company were a bust, with high prices not meeting the expectations of the Canadian consumer, a number of distribution chain issues, and a complete lack of eCommerce. Target is only the latest retailer to go belly-up in Canada’s tough retail environment.

eCommerce’s Nasty Gal Steps Down

Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Steps Down As CEO

Source: Tech Crunch

eCommerce “Girl Boss” and founder of the popular fashion site Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, announced this week that she will be stepping down as CEO of the company. Amoruso says the decision was made on her own, and that she plans to remain involved in the site’s daily operations as executive chairman. The position of CEO will now be held by Sheree Waterson, current president and chief product officer. Despite having a bestselling book, #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso saw her 8 year old company suffer from slowing growth this year, having laid-off 10% of its workforce. Hopefully this change will mark a turn-around for the eCommerce fashion site.

Crafty IPOs

Etsy is said to be planning an IPO

Source: Internet Retailer

New York based Etsy, the online marketplace that let’s users sell and buy handmade or vintage goods, is working on an IPO that could take place this Quarter. According to reports the company is looking to raise $300 million. Dozens of IPOs from New York-based tech start-ups have been anticipated recently, so this could mark a turning point. It is reported that Etsy is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley on the IPO. Etsy had online sales of $1.3 billion in 2013 and currently lists 26 million items on its marketplace. Holding its own in a niche market, Etsy is one of only several eCommerce start-ups to have valued at more than $1 billion.

eCommerce Gag Goes Viral

HOW THE E-COMMERCE GAG “SHIP YOUR ENEMIES GLITTER” BECAME A VIRAL HIT—AND THEN A NIGHTMARE

Source: FastCompany

It’s been dubbed the eCommerce break-out hit of 2015! Ship Your Enemies Glitter made the round this week online, offering internet users the chance to literally pay to send glitter to their enemies. Apparently the creator is now feeling regretful after the eCommerce gag went viral. For about $8.00 CAD you can send anyone a glitter laced letter anywhere in the world. Founder of the website Mathew Carpenter is no stranger to start-ups, apparently he has three previous ventures listed on his LinkedIn page. Two days after the launch of his gag website, Carpenter announced on Twitter that the website is for sale, citing over 1 million in hits and 270k in social shares. Anybody interested?