Perhaps we will never know, but some details are emerging on the likes of Twitter and personal emails. I’ve also had a conversation with Ralph Brayham, which is sadly confidential. All I can say that I won’t be purchasing Ferrit.
Let’s start with the most interesting ones:
Telecom’s own press release
Telecom has decided to close its online shopping mall Ferrit as part of the company’s focus on the delivery of its core services.
This is the critical news – it’s what we have been asking Telecom to do for years, and finally the moment is here. The core services are the upgrading of broadband to the home/business and the roll out of the new high speed & compatible mobile network. It’s a very clear signal from CEO Paul Reynolds that businesses that are not core and that are not generating income can expect to go.
Now let’s go anonymous:
“There’s been a lot of bullshit smokescreen spoken about the retail trading conditions causing Ferrit’s demise. The fact is that they had a flawed model, executed it poorly and had shit customer service”
Ralph Brayham and his crew were the only optimistic ones.
Kiwiblog commenter “the deity formerly known as nigel6888”: “Its like some MBA looked at Amazon and trademe and said we could do that, but make it harder, offer no real bargains, and no reason for anyone to ever use the site. Now lets make it expensive to run and maintain too.”
Sol, who naughtily cross posted the same comment to a number of blogs, linking to his site:
I have had personal, insider experience of both 1-day and Ferrit. Both have ambitious e-commerce models, except that 1-day has a fabulous business model and a very user friendly, simple site, and Ferrit does not.
jonmac807 on Aardvark
Th(e) fact that it was Telecom is also an issue. As I travel around fixing computer in peoples homes I note that the telecom customer base seems to be an older person/persons rather than younger folk so pushing “geek” advertising to their market place is patently offensive!
On that subject, being a Telecom Free person, I find it most annoying that when I log into my Yahoo mail account, which I have had for around 10 years, I am confronted with Xtra stuff. If I wanted Xtra as my service provider I would use them. I don’t so please get out of my face!
Twitter as always seems to bring opinions and facts to the surface:
@nzben Fun Ferrit Facts: Guesstimate of spend: $70m. 125k orders based on retailer order numbering. Therefore $560 cost of each sale.
@barniclebarnes Average order price was around $85 last Xmas. That means $10,625,000 in sales. Ferrit Rev (at 10% com) $1,062,500
@barniclebarnes My $85 was based off their live sales screens at their offices pre-xmas 2007.
I estimate that the average commission paid is more like 2-4%, as the biggest players would not pay the retail commissions. That would give trivial all-time revenues of $200,000 to $400,000, or a return of 0.28% – 0.56% of the amount that @NZBen estimates they invested.
@matt_mcmahon Much as I’d like to blame mngmnt incompetence, Ferrit was Fubar from conception. Logistics f’d as well… same PM’s as Bubble?
@stevebiddle: You didn’t try and buy flowers and find the price difference between Ferrit & the retailer. I did! :-)
@bataglia At least we won’t have to watch those annoying TV ads anymore.
@armsultan : not surpried they never turned a profit
@toxaq: Saying goodbye to ferrit, actually, we were never introduced… a sadly predictable waste of money.
@rosswell: “FERRIT” the new “FAIL”
@intrepid101: Ferrit. I did a small dance of “I won’t have to see those annoying adverts anymore” joy. Sorry about the jobs though.
@PaulColes: So we have seen the demise of Ferrit.co.nz no surprise there! Trying to be all things to all people is just not an option.