OneChannel Signs Egghead.com

OneChannel.net announced Friday that Egghead.com (Nasdaq: EGGS), the well-known online reseller of computer hardware and software, has signed on as a charter subscriber to its service.

Egghead joins a list of two dozen other charter subscribers for the May 24th launch of its site, OneChannel.net said. The company did not specify who the other charter subscribers are, saying only that they were “top-tier retailers as well as the leading producers of goods and services sold over the Web.”

The Palo Alto, California-based company says its service provides companies with data that analyzes their sales performance, compares it against industry benchmarks, communicates with potential and existing partners and provides subscribers with news about the e-commerce industry. All this, it says, from a single and secure location.

With OneChannel.net we will be able to quickly view how our sales are performing relative to industry benchmarks,” Egghead VP Jim Kalasky said. “In our competitive business, this type of information allows us to make rapid strategic decisions that improve our business.”

OneChannel.net says its service allows retailers to send in a single sales report – rather than multiple ones in separate formats – that in turn goes to manufacturers after the data has been analyzed in a single report rather than having to compile individual reports. Both retailers and manufacturers can then measure sale results individually and measure this data against industry benchmarks, the company claims.

In addition to its sales analysis data, OneChannel says its community channel allows subscribers to instantly communicate with potential or existing partners about specific events and news crucial to their industry. The subscribers have access to industry-specific databases with information about manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other industry contacts and also real-time news service that delivers the latest on e-commerce developments.

OneChannel.net is privately-held and backed by venture capital. Its founder, Karl Hirsch, was the co-founder of Preview Systems, an electronic software distributor.

Egghead Perched On E-Commerce Wall

Egghead is prominent these days as much for its transformation from a brick-and-mortar business to a solely online business as it is for its products. A reseller of computer hardware and software, the Vancouver, Washington-based firm has seen sales and earnings figures slump since it made the dramatic transformation in 1998.

Egghead’s revenues have plummeted from $403 million (US$) in 1996 to $148 million for the 1999 fiscal year, with incremental decreases marking the two years in between. The company’s CEO, George Oban, stands by his decision to go strictly online, saying that fourth-quarter results- when online revenues increased 81%, show that the replanting is bearing fruit.

Heavy expenditures in marketing, advertising and new technology helped contribute to fiscal 1999 losses of $35 million, Oban claimed. ”It was absolutely the right decision,” Oban said earlier this month. ”Our brand now is among the strongest on the Internet and our new business is taking shape.”

Egghead cited new online statistics to support these claims. Customer accounts rose 97% to nearly one million. The company’s customer e-mail addresses increased to 2.9 million, up 175%., while registered auction bidders on its Web site rose to 410,000, up nearly 350%.

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