Etsy to Close Wholesale Market, Focus on Sales From Main Website

(Bloomberg) -- Etsy Inc. will close its separate wholesale marketplace and instead focus resources on its main website, the e-commerce company said in a blog post.

Etsy Wholesale, which let merchants connect with bigger retailers like Macy’s Inc., West Elm and Williams Sonoma that wanted to place larger orders at discounted prices, will close July 31, Kruti Patel Goyal, general manager of seller services, said Wednesday. The product never got the kind of traction Etsy expected and was only used actively by about 5,000 of the company’s 2 million sellers.

“Running a separate marketplace built around the needs of wholesale sellers requires a big investment of resources,” Patel Goyal said. “So we’ve made the tough decision to close the Etsy Wholesale platform.”

The change comes as Chief Executive Officer Josh Silverman, who took over a year ago after short sellers pressured the board, is working to cut costs and focus Etsy more narrowly on increasing overall revenue generated by sellers on the site. Etsy employees stopped updating the Wholesale website and responding to users’ questions late last year.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Brooklyn-based Etsy surpassed $1 billion in gross merchant sales for the first time. Investors responded enthusiastically, pushing the stock up 54 percent to $31.56 so far this year.

Sellers will still be able to notify retailers that they have wholesale pricing on their store’s FAQ page, Etsy said.

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