|Tue Feb 23 2016 17:46:21|
Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow
By: Ina Steiner
A seller on the Best Buy Marketplace was surprised to learn today that the retailer is closing its marketplace to third-party sellers. The Best Buy letter to sellers began with the following:
"As of February 24, 2016, we have discontinued our Marketplace business and removed all third party seller listings. We believe we can continue to provide a positive customer experience on our site through other product sourcing methods."
The Star Tribune
reported on Monday that Best Buy laid off a few dozen corporate employees in recent weeks. The company told the newspaper it was also hiring in other strategic areas. "Still, the newspaper wrote, "the reductions come after a difficult holiday season for the retailer, which had been making strides in the last couple of years to stabilize its business under Chief Executive Hubert Joly."
A seller who was impacted by the closure said sales on Best Buy Marketplace came in third after Amazon and eBay. He did not want to be identified, believing it was possible that Best Buy could invite some sellers back to a new approach. "I say this as this decision (ending 3rd party marketplaces) makes no sense from a business standpoint. Not sure what the number is but I'd guess they'll lose half or more of their skus." (See update below.)
He sent a screenshot of the letter from Best Buy, signed by Mary Lou Kelley, President of eCommerce. He said the letter is available on the seller portal and was not sent via email.
We are awaiting confirmation from Best Buy about the marketplace closure. Stay tuned as we update this story.
UPDATE: Received confirmation from Best Buy about marketplace closure - they took issue with estimate on the part of the seller that half of skus came from 3P sellers. About 70% of marketplace items overlap, rest are largely refurbs, company said. Much more to come in Newsflash, stay tuned. Company spokesperson Jeff Shelman also said the move impacts only the US marketplace on BestBuy.com.