Times Internet* is taking yet another look at its ecommerce business, Indiatimes Shopping, and for the time being, appears to have stopping allowing customers to shop via the website. In a statement, Times Internet told MediaNama that it is “rationalizing” its ecommerce business, and aligning it with the Times of India brand, where avenues of commerce are being explored. But what does rationalizing actually mean? Over the weekend, we heard from sources that Indiatimes Shopping is “being closed”, and employees have been asked to leave, getting around three months of pay as severance. We’ve not been able to confirm how many employees Indiatimes Shopping had and how many have been asked to leave. We’re awaiting more details from Times Internet.
We checked the website, and a random sampling of products from the website indicates that products displayed on the homepage are now either shown as “out of stock” or “sold out“, or that no products have been found. For all practical purposes, Indiatimes Shopping isn’t allowing shopping at the moment.
What we have from Times Internet is the following statement: “Times Internet is rationalizing its e-commerce business. The business now will be aligned to the TOI brand where avenues of commerce are being explored.”
What particularly piques our interest is the statement that the business will now be aligned to the Times of India brand. This suggests that the ownership of the Indiatimes Shopping business (the existing newsletter database, the merchant base etc), may be run directly by Times of India, instead of Times Internet; the two are, after all, two separate businesses. We’ll update when we hear from Times Internet about what this means.
This possible shifting of Indiatimes Shopping to the Times of India comes three years after Times Internet took hits foot of the ecommerce pedal, a time when ecommerce companies were outspending each other and hemorrhaging money, in a race for marketshare and market growth.
*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama