A year and a half after closing its virtual doors and filing for bankruptcy, Furniture.com is once again open for business. Relaunching with the same name, but under different management, the new Furniture.com, based in Waltham, Mass., is eager to prove that it learned from its earlier e-commerce mistakes. The new site went live on April 15.
A group of former employees, led by President Carl Prindle, purchased the Furniture.com domain name and intellectual property last October for $1 million. Prindle and company quickly partnered with Woodbury, N.Y.-based Seamans Furniture and Boca Raton, Fla.-based Levitz Furniture.
Furniture.com’s retail partners will provide much of the operational backbone for the relaunched e-commerce site. Prindle and his executive team hope that will resolve many of the customer service and delivery issues (like long manufacturer lead times, astronomical delivery costs, lack of order tracking and no inventory visibility) that plagued it the first time around. Levitz and Seamans bring in-stock merchandise and a robust delivery system to the table. Furniture.com expects that to translate to one- to two-week delivery times.
This time around, Furniture.com will integrate its systems with its partners’ back-office systems to provide customers with real-time inventory information, online order tracking and item availability information by area code. Furniture.com’s partnerships will also enable wary shoppers to test-drive couches or beds at any of the 54 Seaman’s stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, or any of Levitz’s 72 locations, most of which are in California.
Executives say they’re looking to partner with more retail chains. “They’re scaling methodically,” says spokesman Don Goncalves. “They’re looking forward to proving themselves.” One wonders if they can regain the 1 million former users and $22 million in revenue once attached to the Furniture.com brand.