Overstock says its asset-light model is the way to go
Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson says the home decor and furnishing retailer is committed to a pure-play e-commerce strategy.
Why it matters: Rising interest rates, mortgage rates and inflation have put a damper on the sector, forcing companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning and United Furniture to file for bankruptcy.
What they’re saying: Overstock's asset-light model means the company "can go down on price by asking for better concessions from suppliers who are over-inventoried without hurting our gross margin,” Johnson tells Axios.
- Overstock doesn’t hold any inventory, relying instead on third parties to drop ship products to consumers.
Of note: Overstock absorbed some of the supply from Bed Bath & Beyond after the big-box retailer was going through its own turmoil.
- “We used some of our balance sheet to buy… 30 days worth of inventory,” which it was able to sell through, Johnson says.
Yes, but: Revenue continues to lag, coming off its pandemic highs.
- Overstock says its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes has been positive for the past 12 consecutive quarters.
- The company has $34.5 million in long-term debt and $371.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, according to its 10-K.
The intrigue: Overstock could explore omnichannel sales via a partnership with a brick-and-mortar retailer where it can help drive traffic through returns like "what Amazon and Kohl’s did several years ago,” he says.
What’s next: The company is improving its term search function internally.
- “If people find us, but they don't find what they're looking for and we had it, that's our mistake that we need to fix,” he says.
- Overstock has also dabbled with generative AI, he adds.
- AI can be used to make product descriptions better and to improve customer calls so that questions can be answered and customers can get the information they want.
- Overstock wants to increase its product count to expand the breadth and depth of its products, he says.