November 7, 2007, 12:00 AM

FYE.com has an FYI for music shoppers: ‘We love plastic’

FYE.com is finding new ways to market CDs. FYE.com next year will begin offering a new service that allows shoppers to select current music from the site’s online inventory, purchase the content, and then arrange to have a custom CD mixed and burned.

If the proponents of digital content had their way, DVDs and CDs would soon join the eight-track player and cassettes in the home entertainment bone yard. But FYE.com, a part of TransWorld Entertainment Corp. and the e-commerce arm of the For Your Entertainment chain of stores, has a message for serious online music shoppers: “We still love plastic.”

FYE.com stocks more than 1.4 million plastics products, including movies, music, books, and video games, in addition to digital downloads. TransWorld, No. 410 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is also updating its web site with new features that appeal to both digital music buyers and lovers of traditional CDs and DVDs. For instance, FYE.com next year will begin offering a service that allows shoppers to select music from the site’s online inventory, purchase the content and then arrange to have a custom CD mixed and burned.

FYE.com was re-launched on an e-commerce platform from VCommerce Corp. in February. With better web technology in place, FYE.com has also added a new pre-owned music store that features more than 1 million products priced at 50% off new release prices, and the ability to pre-order music, games or videos. “The day after Barry Bonds broke his home run record, FYE.com had a DVD available on the site,” says TransWorld vice president of online marketing and customer relationship management David Dwek.

FYE.com hasn’t forgotten the digital side of the business. The site stocks a digital music library of more than 3 million titles and will add movie downloads for purchase next year. But plastic DVDs and CDs are still in demand by online music buyers and FYE.com will continue to emphasize traditional products as the digital market evolves.

“We are perfectly positioned as an online merchant and as a multi-channel retailer,” Dwek says. “No one has figured out the profitability model for digital content and entertainment labels have a substantial investment they want to protect in conventional products. We can serve customers with the entertainment they want in the form they want it in.” TransWorld also operates other e-commerce sites such as Suncoast.com, Samgoody.com, Secondspin.com and Wherehouse.com

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