January 24, 2007, 12:00 AM

Annual web sales rise 19% at Ritz Interactive

A big push into consumer electronics just before the holidays helped Ritz Interactive Inc. grow its 2006 web sales by 19%, while holiday sales rose by 35%, says CEO Fred Lerner.

A big push into consumer electronics just before the holidays helped Ritz Interactive Inc. grow its 2006 web sales by 19%.

For the year, Ritz, No. 102 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, posted e-commerce revenue of $98.8 million, compared with $83.15 million in 2005.

The company credits a big push into consumer electronics as a key reason for top-line growth. In November, Ritz added more than 70,000 new products to the electronics category on its e-commerce sites. The new electronics offerings, which include the latest computers and peripherals, LCD and Plasma TVs, MP3 players, and gaming devices, now are available on RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, CameraWorld.com and PhotoAlley.com. Site visitors now can choose from a selection of products and accessories from IBM, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Panasonic and other electronics manufacturers.

“Our holiday sales increased by 35%,” says Ritz Interactive CEO Fred Lerner, who is speaking at Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose, in a June 5 session titled “The Scotch Boutique: The Web Is Made for Niche Retailing.” “We looked at our high-end digital camera buyers and decided they were also consumer electronics shoppers,” Lerner notes.

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