Overstock, the online retailer that has attracted attention from US regulators for its foray into blockchain technologies and crypto-assets, fell more than 14 per cent in pre-market trading on Friday after the company unveiled a new strategy for its core business.

Faced with competition from Wayfair, a rival digital retailer that has put pressure on sales and margins at Overstock, the company would adopt a “classic internet ‘growth strategy’”, chief executive Patrick Byrne said. Under the new strategy for its ecommerce business, Overstock would prioritise revenue growth over profits in an effort to bolster its market share and secure the future of the business.

“We have already turned on the jets, and will demonstrate this year that our growth engine is far more efficient”, he said.

Anticipating some resistance from investors, Mr Byrne said the company’s earnings call was “going to be unusually robust and informative, geared for the analysts and shareholders trying to make sense out of a complex tale”. More prosaically, he added: “We will also discuss our strategy”.

For 2017, revenues were down 3 per cent to $1.7bn and the company swung to a full-year pre-tax loss of $47.7m from a profit of $20.5m the previous year. The net loss for the year was $110m, down from net income of $12.5m in 2016.

In contrast to its retail business, Overstock said its blockchain enterprises were “progressing nicely” and it had a “strong head start in a number of products under development”. A strategy review by Guggenheim about whether to sell the ecommerce assets was rumbling on, the company said, promising an update “when appropriate”.

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