November 11, 2004, 12:00 AM

SmartBargains.com triples its online deals from an average 3,000 to 10,000

SmartBargains’ strategy is to strengthen its relationship with customers by offering them more and better deals. It’s expanding its assortment by deepening existing categories and adding new ones such as fashions from high-end discount chain Loehmann’s.

SmartBargains.com hasn’t changed its basic formula – close-out, brand name merchandise at an average 50% off retail – as it’s prepared this year for an upcoming IPO, but it has turbo-charged its assortment. This month, for example, it’s offering about 10,000 different discounted items on its site at any given time, more than triple the 3,000 it offered last November, year, CEO Carl Rosendorf tells Internet Retailer.

The company has expanded its offering in existing categories and added new ones. For example, the category of toys and kids` and baby gear, tested in limited quantity on the site last year, now has been promoted to the status of a department with its own home-page tab. Also new as of June is a relationship with high-end discount apparel retailer Loehmann’s that makes SmartBargains.com the exclusive online source for Loehmann`s merchandise under a co-branded offering, Lohemann’s at SmartBargains.com.

New offerings such as merchandise from the designer brand-heavy Loehmann’s is widening SmartBargain’s customer audience, Rosendorf says. “The level of sophistication and the availability of brands is appealing to a broader demographic. But it’s all still at the same value proposition. We are purely off-price,” he says. “Enabling the customer to develop a deeper relationship with us is our goal, and the best way to do that is by offering them more and better deals.”

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