March 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Furniture.com enters new retail markets as Blueport Commerce

A one-time retailer that relaunched several years ago as a provider of e-commerce technology and services to other furniture retailers, Furniture.com has re-emerged again as Blueport Commerce to serve a broader range of merchants.

A one-time retailer that relaunched several years ago as a provider of e-commerce and fulfillment services to other furniture retailers, Furniture.com Inc. has re-emerged again as Blueport Commerce Inc. to serve a broader range of merchants, the company announced today.

Furniture.com, No. 164 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will remain as a unit of Blueport Commerce and continue to operate as an e-commerce site that channels online sales for regional furniture store chains, most of which fulfill orders from their own warehouses through local delivery services, says Blueport president and CEO Carl Prindle. Blueport has also begun offering e-commerce technology and services to groups of retailers offering products that are complementary to furniture products, such as Flooring America, a national network of about 600 flooring products dealers.

“We specialize in unique e-commerce challenges, including merchandising complex products online and fulfilling orders of large items not usually sent via UPS and FedEx,” Prindle says.

Blueport also plans to expand its business of developing and managing e-commerce sites, he adds. While providing FlooringAmerica.com as a central marketplace for flooring products, Blueport is also offering e-commerce sites to Flooring America’s individual dealers. “We expect almost 600 Flooring America dealers to have their own sites,” Prindle says.

Blueport operates on a revenue-sharing model with its client retailers, charging them a percentage of the value of online transactions, Prindle says. The company also expects to expand beyond home products and branch out into more areas, including consumer electronics, he adds.

Prindle is speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston, in a session entitled “The Tripping Point: Where retailers go astray”.

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