Coolblue has raised its prices significantly and halted marketing and affiliate actions - without communication. Due to the corona crisis, it seems: the Dutch retailer is afraid a reduced production in China will cause empty shelves and acts preemptively. But is that all there is to it?
Out of the (cool)blue
Last week, the Netherlands' second biggest e-tailer ended almost every ad campaign, including affiliate marketing and Adwords campaigns, without prior notification. Moreover, it quietly raised a lot of prices - often with double figures. The company remained completely silent, but earlier this week an internal email to affiliate partners was leaked: in that message, the e-tailer admitted to reducing ads to a strict minimum and raise prices so that sales would drop. The company wants to replenish stocks and avoid empty shelves if the crisis continues, Business AM writes.
Coolblue's actions caused a lot of unrest and speculation, especially as the e-tailer (otherwise well known for its speedy and witty communication) gave no explanation whatsoever. The fact that even the company's press agency remained completely mute to the many questions journalists asked, only caused the wildest rumours to surface and spread.
Dutch website e-commercenews raised several possibilities and demanded an urgent explanation, suggesting the problem might be a major hack or a case of ransomware. A takeover by Amazon has also been suggested, and a photo of Coolblue's headquarters with the flag at half-mast were posted. So, the mystery continues - as its CEO Pieter Zwart enjoys his holidays on Ibiza...