Buy.com Bites the Dust

Buy.com Inc.'s glitzy Australian etail site bit the dust today in another kick in the guts for the online retail business model.

Buy.com.au has apparently succumbed to U.S. investor pressure after stating this afternoon the decision is driven by the need for its parent, Buy.com, to "focus financial resources on its core U.S. business."

"Softbank, which is also an investor in Buy.com Inc., said given the reality of the much tighter technology sector, Buy.com Inc's decision to withdraw from the Australian market and focus on its core business, would be seen by investors in the U.S. listed company as a prudent move to maintain flexibility," the company said in a press statement.

Local executives refused to comment directly on the company's closure. Andrew Isles, chief executive of joint venture partner EVentures Ltd., said in the statement the closure was necessary despite successful growth in sales and its customer base.

"While many alternatives to closure had been considered, none were acceptable to all the Buy.com.au joint venture partners," Isles said.

A message posted to its site reports: "We have closed our virtual doors effective 11am on 21st November, 2000 and are taking no new orders."

The company says it will fulfill all existing orders for which payment has been made in accordance with existing contracts.

The company opened for business on May 4 this year with a lavish rooftop party at Sydney's Broadway retail shopping centre complete with a huge sound and light display, lounges, a bar, stage and outdoor entertainment area.

It's claim to fame was the deep pockets of backers Softbank Corp. and News Corporation's EPartners group EVentures, in addition to the resources of it's own U.S. operations. The e-tailer also has operations in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Other comment posted on Buy.com.au reads: "We hope that we have provided you with an enjoyable experience with Buy.com, as that has been one of our core objectives. Thank you for being a part of Buy.com; your tremendous support has meant a great deal to us. The team at Buy.com. Further information on current Buy.com promotions and other questions you may have regarding purchases or product will be posted on this site today at 7pm EST."

Source: Australian Reseller News

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