August 30, 2001, 12:00 AM

Flooz goes flat-footed

Flooz.com, the online currency site, has suspended operations. (See follow-up story, 8/28/01 on internetretailer.com or click here.)

Internet Retailer

Flooz.com, a New York-based online currency company promoted by actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, has suspended operations due to a tough economy, bad capital markets and other factors. Robert Levitan, CEO, says the company is seeking a merger partner with “a larger, more traditional company to continue moving forward. Flooz has been in conversations with various companies that like what we’ve created-a transaction business that generates 30% margins on every transaction.”

Levitan says the company will communicate with its customers as soon as its financial issues are resolved. Merchants were asked to take the Flooz payment off their web sites last week, though the technical integration remains. “We are hoping to conclude negotiations and continue operating,” says Levitan.

A gift-giving solution

Flooz positioned itself as a gift-giving solution. Users could buy Flooz currency online and recipients could use the currency at major online retailers including Godiva.com, Jcrew.com and others. The company had 50 merchants signed to accept the currency.

Half of Flooz.com’s business came from corporate accounts, where employers used the currency as incentives or rewards for employees and clients. Merchants paid a transaction fee in the lower double digits.

Flooz envisioned its product becoming a closed-system online of merchants at which Flooz users could make online transactions. By creating a network of popular merchants and a captive audience of users who can spend Flooz only within the Flooz.com merchant list, the company had hoped to generate online sales for merchants and help them cut customer acquisition costs. Late last year the company reported that it had a base of about 1 million accounts.

(See follow-up story, 8/28/01 on internetretailer.com or click here.)

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