January 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

Blair continues to make over its e-commerce sites

Last year, Blair upgraded its web sites, including Blair.com and IrvinePark.com, with enhanced site search and increased web analytics. Now the catalog and web retailer soon will unveil customer reviews and a new interactive home design center.

Blair Corp. is continuing its web site makeover in 2007.

Last year, Blair, No. 95 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, upgraded its web sites, including Blair.com and IrvinePark.com, with enhanced site search and increased web analytics.

Now the catalog and web retailer soon will unveil customer reviews and a new interactive home design center. Also in the works is a possible push into new lines of merchandise, says Blair vice president and general manager of e-commerce Jeffrey Parnell.

The company began rolling out a new customer service program from Bazaarvoice Inc. in late 2006 and will fully implement the program by the end of January, Parnell says. The new application lets online shoppers rate products on a scale of one to five, rate specific product features and post reviews. “We are looking at the web from more of a merchandiser’s eye,” Parnell says.

Blair, which reported e-commerce sales of $73.8 million for the period of January through September 2006, also is adding a new interactive home design center. The tool, which is being designed internally, will enable web shoppers to create individual treatments for bedrooms and other rooms and will feature audio guides featuring experienced Blair customer service and merchandising reps. “E-commerce is very important to us and we intend to remain a leader,” says Parnell, who will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose in a session titled Making E-Retailing Music: When IT and Marketing Harmonize .

Blair sells traditionally to men and women in their 60s. The company’s web site, which launched in 2001, is helping to draw a younger generation of shoppers. “Many of our online shoppers are at least 10 years younger,” Parnell says.

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