BabyCenter, the social net and e-commerce site run by Johnson & Johnson, has closed its online store to focus strictly on its media side. Tina Sharkey, global chairman of BabyCenter, wouldn’t tell AdAge if the reason for the abandonment of online retailing was due to a lack of profitability. Sharkey did say that BabyCenter is looking to strike deals with other marketers and will still have a retail partnership with Diapers.com
In a sense, moving away from e-commerce returns BabyCenter to where it was when J&J cut retail from the site after it bought the company out of bankruptcy for $10 million in 2001. And since BabyCenter claims 78 percent of the market for U.S. parenting sites, Sharkey believes it can build on its display business, even at a time when many marketers are pulling back and concentrating on search.