Shipping delays have affected holiday sales, say Michael Rubin, a fanatic

Michael Rubin, chief executive of online sportswear giant Fanatics, told CNBC on Wednesday that retail sales this holiday season have been negatively affected by shipping challenges.

“There was so much pressure on the different transport networks that had to be delivered, I think there was even more demand that could have been,” Rubin told Squawk Box. “As good as the business is, it could have been even better.”

Overall, e-commerce sales rose as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, up 22 percent to $ 9 billion on Black Friday alone, according to Adobe Analytics. But this increase came at a price, putting pressure on warehouses and logistics networks. On cyber Monday, for example, UPS reportedly told drivers not to pick up packages at some major retailers after those companies reached their established allocation capacity.

Adding to the complexity of the situation is the launch of the coronavirus vaccine, which began this month after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, triggering the distribution of millions of additional doses in the United States.

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

“I think e-commerce will see 30% more [growth] over the border. We had a great year, “said Rubin, whose fanatic was valued at $ 6.2 billion in August during a round of E-series funding.” But again, the most interesting thing was that demand could have been even better if shipping networks only had a larger capacity. But with the crown, which is offering vaccines for the first time, there is so much pressure on shipping networks this year. “

Earlier this week, Fanatics announced that it has partnered with Barnes & Noble Education to begin e-commerce operations for sporting goods sold at campus bookstores. The partnership includes Lids, the companies making a $ 15 million capital investment in Barnes & Noble Education.

“I think the company was a bit implied, and from my perspective, we looked at that and said, ‘We really think we can work together to strengthen this offer,'” Rubin said of Barnes & Noble Education. “We will take all the e-commerce capabilities of the fanatics and put them behind the 775 universities to help them have the best offer – better technology, better mobile, a wider range.”

Shares of Barnes & Noble Education rose 1.7% on Wednesday. The partnership with Fanatics was announced before the opening on Monday, and the stock has increased by about 12% this week.