April 16, 2008, 12:00 AM

Electronics retailer eCost.com extends product lines with virtual warehouse

The web retailer has added products to its home and sporting goods lines by a virtual warehouse agreement that enables it to shift warehousing costs to manufacturers and distributors.

Electronics retailer eCost.com Inc. has added products to its home and sporting goods lines by a virtual warehouse agreement that enables the company to shift warehousing costs to distribution partners in a variation on drop shipping. The expanded categories give shoppers access to products from such companies as Bissell, Milwaukee Electric, Conair, Oster, Spalding, Wilson, Nike and Rawlings.

Under a virtual warehouse arrangement, eCost.com avoids large investments in inventory and can shift the normal costs of warehousing to distribution partners who are responsible for storing and shipping the inventory. As of March 31 eCost operated 15 virtual warehouses.

Many of the new products also will be available on Bargain Countdown, a proprietary shopping feature that brings eCost.com customers limited time offers on select discounted merchandise, the company says.

The retailer, No. 111 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is a wholly owned subsidiary of PFSweb Inc.

“The expansion of our product offerings to the home, sports and leisure segments are in line with our key strategies for 2008 as we focus on driving overall growth and improving bottom line performance,” says Mark Layton, PFSweb chairman and CEO. “We believe the further expansion of our product categories on eCost.com can provide the opportunity to create greater leverage and enable us to improve gross margins.”

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