September 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

AllAmericanDirect.com reaches out beyond its core TV satellite dish market

AllAmericanDirect.com has released more details about how it plans to expand beyond its traditional TV satellite dish products. It plans to offer 500,000 SKUs across many categories within a year.

With a new retail web site built on the open-source Magento e-commerce platform, AllAmericanDirect.com is expanding beyond its traditional TV satellite dish network products and services and plans to offer about 500,000 products across multiple consumer product categories within a year, manager of e-commerce and marketing Shawn Schwegman tells Internet Retailer.

“Our plan is to be a good discounter, offering good quality and breadth of products at great prices,” says Schwegman, a former chief information officer for off-price retailer Overstock.com Inc. He adds that AllAmericanDirect will not follow Overstock’s model of selling excess merchandise acquired from manufacturers and retailers, but is building a base of suppliers and drop-shippers that can provide it with current merchandise.

AllAmericanDirect.com initially launched as an e-commerce site in 2006, offering TVs and related products to complement the TV dish networking services offered by its parent company, National Programming Service LLC.

This year, it has expanded its consumer electronics category and begun to introduce additional product categories, starting with home and garden products. It plans to offer Halloween-related products this fall and apparel and jewelry products later this year, followed next year by books, movies and video games, Schwegman says. The site did about $1 million in online sales last year and expects to more than double that this year, he adds.

One way that AllAmericanDirect is building its market is through special promotions that get covered on blogs pertaining to consumer products and shopping advice, he adds. When it ran a recent sweepstakes with prizes such as $10,000 in cash and a big-screen TV, bloggers covered the events and sent traffic to AllAmericanDirect.com, Schwegman says.

The retailer also expects to be able to scale up to handle increasing customer traffic and sales on its Magento platform. The platform cost under $100,000 to deploy in about nine weeks with Varien, the developer of the Magento open-source technology, Schwegman says.

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