Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE: APRN) plunged 37.3% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company revealed problems with a new fulfillment center. The stock is down over 60% since its IPO this summer and it doesn't look like a turnaround is imminent.
November's drop began with management revealing at a conference that the transition to a new fulfillment center in New Jersey isn't going as planned. The move is not only costing a lot more than expected, but management has pulled back on marketing because it was getting orders wrong and didn't want to deliver a poor product to customers.
Blue Apron lives on sales to new customers because it doesn't retain its existing customers for long, so this fulfillment could take a bite out of an already weak business model.
I don't see anything about Blue Apron's business that's worth jumping into right now. In early December, the company replaced its CEO in a desperate move for such a young company. But the fundamental flaw in Blue Apron's model is that it has low customer retention and has to spend millions on marketing to keep new customers coming in. Unless we see the fundamentals of the business turn around, this is a food stock that doesn't look very appetizing for investors.
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