EToys, Petopia close down

The e-commerce shakeout continues as online pet site Petopia.com Inc. and beleaguered Internet toy retailer eToys Inc. close their virtual doors.

In a Monday news release, eToys announced it had sent job elimination notices to its remaining 293 employees at its Ontario, California, and Blairs, Virginia, distribution centers. About 700 workers received layoff notices in January. The company said it anticipates it has cash on hand to continue operations until the end of March, but added that it does not believe that additional capital will be available to the company.

The company also said it had received a delisting letter from the Nasdaq exchange, after eToys' stock fell below US$1 a share for 30 consecutive days. The company closed trading Monday at 28 cents, down 98 percent from its high almost exactly one year ago, at $19.94 a share.

Another e-retailer, Petopia.com has reportedly suffered a similar fate. Though the company filed on March 3 for a $100 million initial public offering of stock, Petopia has since withdrawn its bid, indicating it has sold off its assets and is no longer in business, according to the Dow Jones News Service story Tuesday. The company announced in December it had sold its assets to the brick-and-mortar pet supply chain Petco Inc., which now operates the site at www.petco.com.

Etoys, in Los Angeles, can be reached at +1-310-998-6000 or at http://www.etoys.com/.

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