The future may hold far fewer and radically redesigned stores, analysts say.
The retailer has expanded from selling nine flavors of cheesecake to 34.
Specialty gifts e-retailer GourmetGiftBaskets.com has acquired cheesecake and baked goods online retailer Cheesecake.com.
As well as adding extra flavors of cheesecake to the gift mix, the deal expands GourmetGiftBaskets.com’s customer base to those who buy cakes for themselves, perhaps to serve at a dinner or party, says the company’s director of sales and marketing Jason Bergeron.
“It’s such a different market from the gift space,” he says, “With cheesecake there’s more of an opportunity for us to go right to the consumer and send something to them that they might not have the ability to get otherwise.”
A dramatic increase in demand for baked goods on the site over the last few years contributed to the decision to buy Cheesecakes.com, says GourmetGiftBaskets CEO Ryan Abood. “We’ve received an enormous amount of acclaim due to these products, and realize that offering more would better serve our customers,” he says.
Cheesecakes.com had suppliers in many locations fulfill orders. But GourmetGiftBaskets.com, No. 452 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, ships all its goods from its Londonderry, NH, headquarters. With the acquisition, the company now offers 34 kinds of cheesecakes, up from nine previously, in either six- or nine-inch cakes or as samplers, the most popular option. In barely more than a day since launching its updated site and menu, roughly 65% of cheesecakes sold through GourmetGiftBaskets.com were of the newly created “Presidents Choice” eight-cake sampler, which includes amaretto and cherry almond flavors, Bergeron says.
Already there has been a sales surge since the deal’s launch, he continues, though he cautions this could be in part for Mother’s Day. “Certainly we are seeing a lift from what we anticipated right off the gate,” he says, “We’re just really excited to be able to offer an expanded line of cheesecakes.”
GourmetGiftBaskets.com has been selling specialty food, flowers, drinks and other goods online for 10 years. In that time the company claims to have set three world records: World’s Largest Cupcake, at 1,224 pounds in 2009; World’s Largest Cup of Coffee, at 2,010 gallons in 2010, and World’s Largest Cup of Iced Coffee, at 1,500 gallons in 2010. No announcement for attempting World’s Largest Cheesecake has been made, though company executives are discussing which record to go for next, Bergeron says.
Bill Shea, general manager of Wine Country Gift Baskets, will be speaking at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago this June in a session titled, “10 questions to ask your fulfillment vendor.”