Egarden.com Inc., a business-to-business e-marketplace subsidiary of U.S. Home & Garden Inc. for the global lawn and garden products industry, has entered into an exclusive long-term strategic e-commerce agreement with United Hardware Distributing Co., the nation's fourth largest 100% retailer-owned hardware cooperative. Egarden.com will provide United's 1,300 independent dealers in 15 Western states a dedicated room, which will offer a broad selection of lawn and garden products and outdoor accessories, and a convenient method to purchase those products. The dedicated co-op room is a component of the overall Egarden.com service offering, which today includes an Auction and Wholesale marketplace that delivers online supplier information and allows all members of the lawn and garden industry, including manufacturers, independent retailers and specialty stores, contractors, and landscapers, to conduct business transactions. Egarden.com has now established exclusive long-term e-commerce agreements with the nation's four largest hardware cooperatives, TruServ Corp., Ace Hardware Corp., Do it Best Corp., and United Hardware Distributing Co. These four cooperatives have 20,000 combined retailers and total lawn and garden retail sales in excess of $6 billion. Egarden.com also announced that it has contracted with approximately 150 lawn and garden and outdoor accessory suppliers, representing in excess of 50,000 SKUs to list their products for sale in the Egarden.com Wholesale Store. Egarden.com anticipates that over 500 individual suppliers with more than 100,000 total SKUs will be listed for sale on Egarden.com by the end of fiscal year 2001.
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