FINANCE

eBay lowers full-year guidance

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Less engaging marketing initiatives took their toll on eBay for the second quarter, an issue that pushed the company to lower its full-year guidance.

For the quarter ended June 30, revenue was $2.6 billion, a 9% year-over-year increase. In addition to being at the lower end of its guided range of $2.64 billion-$2.68 billion, revenue also missed analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. Net income was $638 million.

In the second quarter, eBay grew active buyers by 4% across its platforms, for a total of 175 million global active buyers.

During the second quarter, the company also announced its intent to sell its holdings in Flipkart, which will represent gross proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion. The company plans to relaunch eBay India with a differentiated offer to focus initially on the cross-border trade opportunity.

The company also completed its acquisition of Giosis’ Japan business, including the Qoo10.jp platform, which expands its footprint in Japan.

eBay also lowered its full-year revenue guidance to between $10.75 billion and $10.85 billion.

eBay’s president and CEO Devin Wenig explained that the company will also revamp its marketing strategy, due to projects that underperformed. “We have experimented with all kinds of new mediums of human to computer interface,” he said during the company’s earnings call on July 18.

“It’s very healthy for us to constantly experiment and have a portfolio of projects that are both near and far, and on some of the far ones we are continuing and some we are not,” Wenig added. “Some key initiatives may not deliver GMV acceleration until later in the year. While the first half of 2018 has brought some unanticipated challenges, we expect core acceleration in the second half while delivering very strong earnings growth.”

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Meal-kit company reportedly shuts down

BY CSA Staff

The kitchen is closed at Chef’d.

The meal-kit company suddenly shut down its services on Monday, July 16. By Tuesday, the company’s website stopped accepting customers’ orders, according to Business Insider.

Founder and CEO Kyle Ransford sent an email to more than 350 employees on Monday evening saying, “We have had some unexpected circumstances with the funding for the business. Due to setbacks with financing, unfortunately, we are ceasing operations for all employees, effective today, July 16, 2018.”

The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent partnership with Walgreens, a deal that entitled Chef’d to sell its boxed meal kits at 30 Walgreens and Duane Reade locations in the New York area.

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Department store retailer expands branded credit card offering

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Belk is giving its shoppers a new way to earn rewards.

The department store retailer is expanding its relationship with consumer financial services company Synchrony, to launch the new Belk Rewards Mastercard. The partners already offer a private-label store card tied to the Belk Rewards loyalty program.

Belk’s new Mastercard will enable customers to additional rewards on every purchase made using the card, a move that will also help them move up reward tiers in the Belk Rewards program. For every dollar spent, cardholders earn three points. However, Premier cardholders earn four points, and Elite cardholders earn five points.

Meanwhile, for every $1 spent on grocery and gas purchases, Belk Mastercard cardholders will earn two points. One point is earned on purchases made at other venues where Mastercard is accepted.

For every 1,000 points earned, the cardholder receives $10 in Belk Rewards certificates. There is no annual fee or limit to rewards earned.

“We’re at a pivotal point in Belk’s history where customers are looking for both innovation and a tradition of quality,” said Randy Whitaker, chief of stores, Belk. “This new payment option offers greater flexibility and rewards at the same store our customers know and trust.”

Belk operates stores across 16 Southern states, as well as an e-commerce site.

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