Yesterday the news hit that Amazon.com has acquired online discount retailer Woot.com, a web site that acquires inventory opportunistically from manufacturers and sells it online and offline.
Though best known for its retail channel, Woot.com, the daily deals site, also sells on a drop-ship basis for other retailers. But it’s best known for its own retail channel, Woot.com, a daily deals site that is joined by sister sites Shirt.Woot.com and Wine.Woot.com. The Woot sites are now its largest channel, according to Woot.com CEO Matt Rutledge.
In a letter to employees posted on the web site, Rutledge said the company will continue to operate independently from its Carrollton, Texas, headquarters.
“We plan to continue to run Woot the way we have always run Woot — with a wall of ideas and a dartboard,” Rutledge wrote. “From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture.”
Last July, Amazon bought online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos.com for US$847 million in cash and stock. Electronics wholesaler Rutledge launched Woot in July 2004. It started as an employee store and marketing testing site, according to information on Woot.com. Although the details of the Woot.com acquisition were not disclosed, TechCrunch reported that Amazon paid $110 million in cash.
Amazon.com said in a statement that the acquisition would foster the long-term growth of Woot, “allowing it to continue its passion for serving customers with low prices across a broad selection of products. Following the acquisition, Woot will continue to be managed independently from its headquarters outside of Dallas, Texas.” The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.
Woot had $164 million in revenue in 2008, up from $117.4 million in 2007 – 2009 figures are not available. The companies did not disclose the purchase price. Last year, Amazon acquired Zappos for about $850 million in cash and stock.