Food and gift basket sales increased 4.7%, but total e-commerce, which includes online and telephone orders, increased less than 1%.
FairMarket Inc. is launching a new Outlet Center service to spread discount, clearance, auction and other dynamic pricing offerings by retailers on the web.
FairMarket, Woburn, Mass., is launching an Outlet Center service, providing a specialized shopping area on FairMarket portals including Excite@Home and NBCi. FairMarket clients J.C. Penney, CompUSA and Dell Computer will broaden their online reach by making discount, clearance and off-lease goods available on the portal sites. The Outlet Center will offer merchandise in falling price, fixed price and auction formats in categories including computers, apparel and accessories, jewelry and consumer electronics. "The web offers an efficient channel to sell discount and clearance goods," says Eileen Rudden, FairMarket CEO. "Migrating these goods to the web allows them to be sold at a higher yield and without the overhead costs associated with a traditional clearance or outlet store." Rudden adds that the launch of the Outlet Center service is a response to increasing consumer demand for online access to clearance goods. AMR Research predicts that the online sale of excess consumer goods will account for 34% of the clearance goods market by 2004.