Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Industry notes: Retail


Fingerhut relaunches Web site

By Lisa Biank Fasig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fingerhut, the catalog and Internet company best known for its socks-to-shower curtain catalogs, has relaunched its youth-geared Internet site, thehut.com, as AtomicLiving.com.

        The site is designed to capture some of discretionary cash of 17- to 24-year-olds. AtomicLiving.com combines affordable apparel and home furnishings with stories addressing the interests of college-aged men and women.

        Like many new online stores designed to appeal to a niche market, AtomicLiving.com combines articles, style tips and music reviews with products that appeal to young adults, such as affordable furniture and clothes.

        “Instead of spending hours searching for cool things on the Web, one stop at AtomicLiving.com can uncover a world of hot new music, the latest in sports and entertainment news,” said Keith Koch, brand manager for AtomicLiving.com. “Plus (it has) furniture, accessories and clothes for our customer's first experience living on their own.”

        AtomicLiving.com partnered with selected merchandise providers and online upstarts to create a site attractive to young adults.

        Fingerhut was acquired by Federated Department Stores in 1999.

Albertson's aligns with Priceline Club
        One of Kroger Co.'s largest competitors has joined it in the barter-for-groceries realm.

        Albertson's, based in Boise, Idaho, has aligned with online savings site Priceline WebHouse Club to give shoppers in Chicago and Milwaukee a chance to name their price on groceries.

        The deal, through Albertson's 191-store Jewel-Osco division, is a no-brainer for grocery chains. Albertson's makes no investment, nor does it take the loss on reduced prices. Priceline covers the price difference through agreements with manufacturers and site sponsors.

        Finally, the deal does not include delivery — shoppers must still pick up their groceries at the store.

        Kroger entered into a similar, company-wide deal with Priceline in early June. The rollout will occur in Cincinnati by July 23.

        Priceline is based in Stamford, Conn.

La Salsa restaurant opens in Westwood
        The west side has just gone a little south of the border. La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill has opened at the Glenway Crossing shopping center in Westwood.

        The restaurant is among a growing number of fast-to-the-table, fresh-Mex chains finding a market in Cincinnati. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Burrito Joe's and Habanero all feature designer burritos and fresh ingredients at moderate prices. La Salsa also operates in Hyde Park Plaza and at the Kings shopping center on Fields Ertel Road.

        The new La Salsa seats 106 people.

Online store of the week
        At Garden.com, green thumbs can shop for bulbs and shrubs, design a garden or read about weekend projects in Garden magazine.

        Garden.com offers more than 20,000 products online, from flowers and plants to furniture and tools. It also offers gift certificates and gift wrap.

        Standard shipping through FedEx starts at $4.50 for packages of less than $25.

       



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