September 27, 2006, 12:00 AM

If it’s Tuesday, the gifts must be in Belgium

The Fruit Company has partnered with GiftsForEurope to offer American customers a way to order artisan gifts for individuals living overseas. The partnership enables the American e-retailer to break into the international e-retailing market.

The Fruit Company has partnered with GiftsForEurope to offer American customers an efficient and cost-effective way to order artisan gifts for individuals living overseas, the companies have announced. Fruit Company CEO Scott Webster says the move is in response to customer requests for a way to ship gifts to friends, family and business associates overseas.

The partnership enables the Fruit Company, No. 485 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, to break into the international e-retailing market without having to set up any international e-commerce sites or operations. “International is such a small percentage of our business, it wouldn’t make sense to invest too much time and effort into it,” Webster explains. “At the same time, we don’t want to force our customers to look elsewhere for this service when they need it.”

On the Fruit Company web site, customers can click on a link to “Send international” and are directed to a variety of gifts offered by GiftsForEurope. The customer begins by selecting a delivery country and is presented with a selection of gifts appropriate for the tastes and laws of that country, the company says.

Once the order is placed, gifts slated for international delivery are shipped from GiftsForEurope’s 11,000-square-foot warehouse in Belgium. Since the gifts are shipped within Europe, there are no taxes for the recipient and shipping costs are one-third of what they would be if the gift was shipped from the States.

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