OPERATIONS

Report: Chinese online retailer Alibaba to launch U.S. website

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beijing – Chinese e-commerce retailer Alibaba is reportedly planning to open a U.S. e-commerce website through its subsidiaries Vendio and Auctiva. According to Reuters, the site will operate at 11main.com.

Currently, the homepage of the 11main.com site has the message: “Shop owners are unpacking and getting settled. Our doors will open soon.” Retailers interested in selling goods on the 11main site can click a link that takes them to informational pages. Selling on 11main is by invitation only. Alibaba offers a similar service in China where retailers can operate online microstores within the Alibaba site. Many major U.S. retailers operate Alibaba microsites.

Alibaba is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering, which Reuters estimates would be valued around $140 billion, and also recently led a $200 million investment round in U.S. e-commerce retailer ShopRunner Inc. and established a U.S. investment division. The company purchased the Vendio and Auctiva businesses, which assist businesses in selling goods on third-party e-commerce sites, in 2010.

In an email to Reuters, an Alibaba spokesperson said Alibaba is happy to support 11Main.

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FINANCE

Dover Saddlery expects lower net income for 2013, plans new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Littleton, Mass. — Dover Saddlery reported a preliminary unaudited decline of 6% in its year-over-year net income for 2013, from $1.7 million to $1.6 million. Preliminary unaudited revenues for 2013 increased $7.5 million, or 8.7%, to approximately $93.8 million from $86.3 million achieved in 2012.

Same-store sales rose 4% for the year. In addition, Dover Saddlery expects to open five to seven new stores in fiscal 2014 and also expand its e-commerce operation.

"As previously announced, the fourth quarter was very strong which helped to offset the first quarter of 2013 which was adversely affected by weather with about 70 lost sales days," said Stephen L. Day president and CEO of Dover Saddlery. "The preliminary unaudited 2013 revenues were approximately $93.8 million versus $86.3 million for 2012, an 8.7% increase. In addition, same-store sales were up 4% over prior year. So in spite of the weather challenges, in all, it was a very good year."

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News

Guitar Center selects 360pi for pricing and assortment

BY Dan Berthiaume

Westlake Village, Calif. – Guitar Center has selected 360pi to increase their awareness of the competitive marketplace and to utilize the actionable insights gained from the 360pi intelligence to increase market competitiveness. Guitar Center had been using another provider, but selected 360pi’s 360price and 360assortment products to deliver near real-time insights into their competitive set.

“Guitar Center is a marquee brand in the music industry and retailing in general, and we are honored they selected 360pi to increase their competitive edge”, said Alexander Rink, CEO of 360pi. “In an increasingly competitive and price transparent retail market, Guitar Center clearly recognizes the importance of carrying the right products, at the right price and the right time, to win both share and margin.”

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