BLUEFLY LINKS WITH ESHOP CHANNEL

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Internet off-pricer Bluefly Inc. said Tuesday it has expanded its marketing relationship with MSN.com, by becoming a featured tenant in Microsoft Network’s just-redesigned eShop channel.
Under terms of the deal, Bluefly will receive fixed links in the clothing and accessories department of eShop, as well as greater exposure across MSN sites via product placements in various themed assortments of merchandise, including apparel, to be developed by MSN.
“We got an advance look at the redesign and liked it, and MSN has performed exceptionally well for us in customer acquisition,” said Jonathan Morris, executive vice president of Bluefly, when asked why the company has extended its alliance with MSN.
“Clearly, MSN, AOL and Yahoo are the leading portals for the purposes of e-tailers looking to drive business on the Web in an economical manner,” Morris added.
Currently, Bluefly has strategic alliances with a number of Web sites and portals, including America Online, Yahoo, Excite@home, Lycos, Netcenter, Tripod and Women.com. Morris said he expects Bluefly to expand some more of its marketing alliances. In addition, he noted that Bluefly terminated two of its former marketing alliances during the past few months, because they failed to meet the company’s expectations on customer acquisition costs. He declined to name those players.
“We are very focused on driving down our customer acquisition costs and optimizing our marketing programs,” Morris stated. “E-mail marketing is one area where we’ve seen some success, and we’ll probably shift a larger portion of our media budget to it for holiday. I expect we’ll make a number of changes for the holiday season.”

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