Storesquare, an e-commerce platform for small businesses, will not survive next February. Belgian owner Roularta says ambitions were not met, nor was the break-even point.
Founded in 2014, Storesquare's aim was to unite local small retailers and SMEs on one platform that would have to compete with major online players like bol.com and Zalando. However, the platform was unable to reach a sufficient audience, Belgian newspaper De Tijd writes. Moreover (or, as a result?), profits for the participating retailers were lower than in the physical stores.
Last year, in an attempt to improve its chances of survival, the platform already narrowed its focus to fashion and toys, two segments that were performing well. However, forced by the continuing losses - 2.9 million euros in 2018 alone - media company Roularta has decided to pull the plug on its e-commerce platform.
Danny Van Assche, who leads local organisation for independent entrepreneurs Unizo, regrets the decision but can understand it. "Storesquare has proven to be a valuable project for our members", he says in a press release. "A lot of small retailers have been able to get to know e-commerce on the platform, either building on it to create their own web shop - or finding out that e-commerce was not really their cup of tea and being able to pull out on a safe way, before they had invested needlessly in their own web shop."