July 20, 2010, 3:39 PM

Overstock buys the O.co domain name

The $350,000 purchase is part of building its brand around the single letter O.

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Overstock.com Inc. today announced it has bought the domain name O.co from .co Internet S.A.S., the registry operator for the .co domain.

Today is the first day that .co Internet S.A.S. is making .co domain names available to the general public.

Overstock, No. 28 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it paid $350,000 to secure the O.co domain name. At launch, O.co redirects consumers to Overstock.com.

But that may change in the future, says Jonathan Johnson, Overstock president.

“As Overstock changes from strictly a liquidator to a general retailer we think that having a name different from Overstock will be beneficial to the brand,” he says. “We will continue branding ourselves as Overstock.com for the near future but over time we may morph into O.”

Overstock considers “O” to be an integral element of its brand recognition and current marketing initiatives, says Johnson. For instance, the retailer’s loyalty program is called Club O loyalty program and its wholesale site is located at O.biz.

“We think the O is a really important part of our brand,” he says. “We think many people think of us as the O. And single-letter domain names are rare so we’re glad to have this one.”

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