Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
NeedleCraftsEtc.com adds another category to the retailer’s craft and hobby business.
Nearly 45 days after the launch of its newest web site, NeedleCraftsEtc.com, Ritz Interactive Inc. is getting a “very positive” response to the site, says Andre Brysha, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
NeedleCraftsETc.com, which features more than 8,000 products from most major needlecrafts manufacturers, is the most recent web site addition to Ritz Interactive’s crafts category, which the retailer entered about three years ago offering scrapbooking products, Brysha says.
“It was a logical product line extension for our digital imaging and photography customer base,” he says. “Initially, we sold scrapbooking products through our photography/consumer electronics web sites, RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, CameraWorld.com and PhotoAlley.com. As the scrapbooking business continued to grow, we decided to launch a stand-alone web site, ScrapbookingAlley.com, on May 4, 2009.”
When response to the scrapbooking site exceeded expectations, Ritz Interactive, No. 146 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide decided to expand into additional craft categories, Brysha says. “We saw a potential new opportunity for the needlecrafts, sewing and knitting hobbies,” he says.
NeedleCraftsEtc.com sells needlecraft products from well-known brands such as AccuQuilt, Spinrite, Bucilla, Dimensions, Caron and Lacis. Orders over $50 qualify for free shipping and customers pay no sales tax because the retailer pays the sales tax in the three states where it has business locations: California, Kansas and Maryland.
The web site also offers project ideas and how-to books. Consumers can shop for products by theme, such as “sewing and quilting” or “knitting and crochet.” As part of the launch, customers were offered a 20% discount on most products.
“Our goal is to offer a great selection of products at competitive prices on a user-friendly, easy to navigate web site,” says Ritz Interactive president and CEO Fred H. Lerner.