August 13, 2008, 12:00 AM

The Parent Co. adopts international markets

The Parent Co. will push its three top brands into international markets this holiday shopping season. EToys, BabyUniverse and My Twinn will target 34 countries, including Canada and most of Europe.

The Parent Co. will push its three top brands into international markets this holiday shopping season. EToys, BabyUniverse and My Twinn will target 34 countries, including Canada and most of Europe, aiming to reach some 500 million online shoppers that live in those countries.

The Parent Co. has contracted with E4X Inc. to use its FiftyOne global e-commerce technology to handle operations such as local country merchandising via web site localization; multicurrency payments including multicurrency credit card processing, international credit card fraud protection, and U.S.-dollar settlement to ensure customers are charged and pay in their own currency; logistics and delivery including customs clearance, package tracking and return shipping; and post-sale support that is similar to the company’s domestic U.S. customer service.

“We’re very excited to introduce our eToys, BabyUniverse and My Twinn brands to a half-billion new consumers around the world, powered by the FiftyOne solution from E4X,” says Michael J. Wagner, CEO of The Parent Co. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us to offer a seamless shopping experience to a global audience.”

The FiftyOne technology “will act like a ‘lens’ over our existing U.S. web sites that will automatically generate customized views for international shoppers,” says Jim Scherman, vice president, business development and customer service at The Parent Co. “They will experience the same high quality online shopping experience that we offer our U.S. customers, but tailored to their location.”

The Parent Co., No. 117 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, was formed in October by the merger of eToys Direct and BabyUniverse.com. In early July, the company secured $25 million in new financing from D.E. Shaw Group, an investment banking firm. At the time company executives said $10 million was earmarked for helping support core growth and new business initiatives through mid-2010.

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