Pittsfield, Mass. — KB Toys paid $3.35 million for additional assets of failed dot.com retailer eToys. The move came shortly after KB Toys’ successful acquisition of approximately $5.4 million in eToys inventory. According to Reuters, Pittsfield, Mass.-based KB Toys says it bid about $3.35 million for eToys intellectual property assets and services as part of the auction process in eToys’ bankruptcy proceedings, which began in March. The previously acquired eToys’ inventory will be sold through KBkids.com and in other KB retail outlets. The latest acquired assets include eToys’ trade names, logos, URLs and trademarks.
New York — Locally based The REALM launched a product for property owners and managers that automates and streamlines rent collection and invoice payment processes. REALMCash, which is produced by The REALM’s e-Business division, provides access to a real-time cash management system via the Internet. According to The REALM, the product eliminates time-consuming back-office processes and reduces operating expenses. Its paper and electronic transaction solutions are integrated with the user’s property management accounting system. "REALMCash has the technology that will power the much needed change in the way property management companies do business," notes Glenn Murray, vice president of The REALM’s e-Business division.
Baldwin Park, Calif. — Locally based Sampo America signed Fry’s, Buy.com, 800.com and Home Shopping Network to carry the company’s digital display products. Sampo products are now offered through the Internet, TV specialty outlets and traditional consumer electronics retail stores. Fry’s, a leading West Coast consumer electronics retailer, carries Sampo’s HDTVs in all 18 locations; Buy.com now stocks Sampo HDTVs, DVD players and will soon offer plasma monitors and digital cameras; 800.com also carries Sampo DVD players. All shipping and handling for Sampo sales are handled through the Buy.com and 800.com websites. Home Shopping Network is airing infomercials to introduce the Sampo digital camera.
Seattle — Locally based Returns Online successfully tested its returns management system at the new Microsoft Corp. technology center in Mountain View, Calif. Returns Online, which maintains relationships with Microsoft and IBM, combined Microsoft software with IBM eServer systems to create and test a comprehensive returns management infrastructure for retailers. Bill Gates introduced Returns Online in March at the grand opening ceremony for the technology center. Engineers at the facility then spent two weeks testing the system’s reliability, security and scalability in combination with IBM and Microsoft hardware and software.
Sausalito, Calif. — Locally based LOCATION-net acquired Troy, Mich.-based The Green Group, which offers retail market analysis and strategic planning services. The merger created a new company, Market Insite Group. The new company now offers a variety of real estate products and services for retailers, property owners and the financial community. Offerings include a patent-pending scoring index; in-depth statistical analysis of market and survey data; a full range of web-based real estate products and services; sales forecasting; expansion planning; mapping; and traditional consumer group research.
Atlanta — Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield hired locally based FacilityPro — which builds and operates private procurement marketplaces for the real estate industry — to deploy FacilityPro’s sourcing solution to properties in the Cushman & Wakefield portfolio. Cushman & Wakefield will use FacilityPro’s eMarketplace to reduce overall operating costs for its clients. The eMarketplace allows users to buy thousands of maintenance, repair and operations supplies from an online supply network.
Charlotte, N.C. — Locally based AvidXchange, which provides web-based procurement and bid management products and services, formed a partnership with Hughes Supply, one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors of construction materials. Orlando, Fla.-based Hughes Supply operates 466 locations and 7,750 employees in 33 states and Mexico. The ability to buy from Hughes Supply catalogs will be available to AvidXchange customers by mid 2nd quarter 2001. "Access to over 5,500 manufacturers and 240,000 products through Hughes Supply provides AvidXchange users the ability to significantly streamline the procurement process for construction and maintenance-related materials," notes Mike Praeger, CEO of AvidXchange.
Minneapolis — Locally based Marshall Field’s now has an enhanced online presence at marshallfields.com. The redesigned website features the Marshall Field’s Gift Registry, technological enhancements for easier navigation, and a wide selection of merchandise. Among the most significant enhancements to the site is the addition of the Marshall Field’s Gift Registry. Marshall Field's was the first retailer in the United States to introduce the bridal registry concept in the 1890s, which began in the form of written lists throughout the store and evolved to computerized in-store touch screens. Marshallfields.com now enables online users to buy any available item on a bridal registry. Users can review and print registry gift lists and request gift-wrapping and shipping services once a gift is purchased.
New York City — Locally based Reis, Inc. announced the launch of a new series of reports covering shopping center markets nationwide. Accessible electronically at Reis.com, the new retail reports furnish valuable information on rents, vacancies and expenses in more than 50 U.S. markets. The reports allow owners/managers, retailers, lenders, brokers and consultants to analyze retail trends and forecasts and obtain detailed data at the metro, sub-market and comparable property levels for ICSC-designated shopping center categories. Reis Inc., a national provider of commercial real estate data and analysis, maintains a proprietary database of 22,000 retail properties. Its product line includes eight different types of retail reports.