Shipping delays have damaged holiday sales, says Michael Rubin from Fanatics

Michael Rubin, CEO of online sportswear giant Fanatics, told CNBC on Wednesday that retailing during the holidays has been negatively impacted by shipping challenges.

“There has been so much pressure on the various shipping companies to supply, I think there was even more demand that could have been had,” Rubin said on “Squawk Box.” “As good as business is, it could have been better.”

Overall, e-commerce sales have increased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, increasing by 22% to $ 9 billion on Black Friday alone, according to Adobe Analytics. But that growth has received a price, which strains warehouses and logistics networks. On Cyber ​​Monday, for example, UPS reportedly told its drivers to stop picking up packages at some major retailers after those companies reached the capacity allocations they had set.

Adding complexity to the situation is the expansion of the coronavirus vaccine, which began this month after the Food and Drug Administration granted permission for emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern vaccines, which started the distribution of millions of additional doses across the United States.

Rubin, a partner in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, said he believed the pandemic in general has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce by two or three years.

“I think e-commerce, you will see 30% plus [growth] across the board. We had a fantastic year, “said Rubin, whose Fanatics were valued at $ 6.2 billion in August during a series of E-financing rounds.” But again, the most interesting thing was that demand could have been better if the shipping network only had more capacity. . But with corona delivering vaccines for the first time, there is so much pressure on shipping this year. “

Earlier this week, Fanatics announced that it has entered into a partnership with Barnes & Noble Education to begin e-commerce operations for sporting goods sold in its bookstores on campus. The partnership includes caps, where companies are investing $ 15 million in Barnes & Noble Education.

“I think the company kind of has been implied, and so from my perspective, we looked at this and said, ‘We really think we can work together to strengthen this offering,'” Rubin said of Barnes & Noble Education. to take all the e-commerce features of Fanatics and put it behind 775 universities to help them get the best deal – better technology, better mobile, wider range. “

Shares in Barnes & Noble Education rose 1.7% on Wednesday. The partnership with Fanatics was announced before Monday’s open, and the stock is up about 12% this week.