March 18, 2008, 12:00 AM

eBags broadens its horizons as tech provider to retailers

A retailer recognized for its innovative, home-grown e-commerce platform, eBags is packing up its expertise and taking it on the road to clients like luxury luggage retailer Tumi and Case Logic, a retailer of carrying cases for CDs and other products.

A retailer recognized for its innovative, home-grown e-commerce platform, eBags is packing up its expertise and taking it on the road to clients like luxury luggage retailer Tumi and Case Logic, a retailer of carrying cases for CDs and other products.

One of the first e-retailers to develop an online customer reviews application several years ago when it launched its site in 1999, eBags, working in Microsoft Corp.’s .Net technology environment, has also configured its own order management and other applications, including product videos to support the merchandising of 12,000 handbags from 250 brands.

Its experience has attracted requests from other companies to host their retail e-commerce operations, says Peter Cobb, co-founder and senior vice president. “Selling technology wasn’t our business and we didn’t want to be in the business of building new brands, but we realized we could take our same principles and technology and selectively apply them for others,” says Peter Cobb.

For the past five years, Denver-based eBags has operated the retail e-commerce site of Tumi, the luxury handbag brand, a relationship that has expanded overseas. After eBags launched its own retail site in the U.K. a few years ago, it also built and began operating a Tumi site in the U.K., followed by Tumi sites in Germany and Japan. EBags operates the three foreign-based Tumi sites and forwards orders to warehouses operated by Tumi in Europe and Asia.

EBags, No. 92 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also launched and operates the first retail e-commerce site of Case Logic Inc., a retailer of carrying cases for laptops, cameras and computer-related products. As it did with Tumi, eBags chose to work with Case Logic because it’s a company with an already strong brand and customer base in a related market that needed an e-commerce partner, Cobb says.

While eBags is willing to provide e-commerce technology and services to certain retailers, it has no interest in building new brands for other companies, he adds.

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