Brandwise.com, the major appliance e-commerce site that counts Whirlpool as one of its three backers, was scheduled to begin online sales of white goods on October 28.
Full launch of the Web site (see story from June 28, 1999) came after a trial period in September. Initially, the site is offering major appliance product data and sales in six categories: ranges, refrigerators, microwave ovens, washers, dryers and dishwashers. Consumer electronics products and small appliances equipment will be added later, the company said.
Consumers visiting the site can buy directly online or locate the nearest location of participating retailers to visit a store.
Shortly before the Internet site began selling appliances, brandwise.com announced that three large appliance retailers -- P.C. Richard & Son, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Bray & Scarff -- have signed on as "charter members" of the e-commerce program. Executives of all three cited brandwise.com's ability to expand their reach beyond their geographic markets.
Said Gary Richard, president/CEO of P.C. Richard, "With an added distribution channel on the Internet, brandwise.com will enhance the visibility of our 40 showrooms and expand our customer base as well as our market share."
"Brandwise has opened a new channel of commerce for us," said Mark Hamilton, Nebraska Furniture Mart's director of marketing. "Brandwise is enabling us to tap into new markets and expand our customer base even further."
Noted Ken Dodson, president of Bray & Scarff, "By becoming part of the brandwise.com merchant network, we are able to expand our customer base far beyond our already existing eight retail locations."