Alibaba Pulls US E-Commerce Site


Chinese retail titan announces sale of 11 Main after just a year in operation

Alibaba plans to pull out of the US online retail market following disappointing returns from its American unit.

The Chinese e-commerce giant has suffered a rare setback in its bid to dominate the online retail space world, and has revealed it will be selling 11 Main after just a year in operation.

11 Main is being sold to fellow online marketplace operator OpenSky, with Alibaba taking a 37.6 percent stake in the latter as part of the deal.

Joining forces

11main_mobile-app_iphone-ipad_cmykThe deal will also see Auctiva, Vendio, and SingleFeed, three other U.S. companies that Alibaba acquired to provide logistics and fulfilment services for 11 Main, folded into OpenSky, TechCrunch reports.

“OpenSky and 11 Main will be joining forces, and we believe together the combined business will be a strong and healthy independent company in which Alibaba will continue to have a significant equity stake,” a spokesperson said in an official statement.

“This joining of forces will help drive sales worldwide and better deliver on the mission to empower SMB brands to reach and sell to consumers,” they added, noting that the combined business will have inventory from 50,000 brands and “millions” of shoppers.

There’s no specific news on the numbers involved in the deal, and whether any jobs with be lost as a result.

11 Main marked an important venture for Alibaba into the US market following its record-breaking $25bn IPO last September, however it seems the site struggled under the weight of too many competitors.

The California-based site launched in June 2014, offering goods in a variety of sectors, including fashion, media and homeware, but failed to gain proper support from Alibaba headquarters, sources said.

All clued up on mobile payments? Try our quiz!