Bombay Co. Tests Gift Boxes Online

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The Bombay Co. Inc. is quietly testing a product-bundling feature on its Web site to let consumers know it sells gifts as well as furniture.


"A lot of times Bombay Co. is seen as a furniture destination, and really Bombay has a lot of other unique products," said Michelle Ballauf, Internet director at Bombay Co., Fort Worth, TX. "We're much more than furniture, and I think that this can start branding us as a destination for gifts."


The initiative kicks off in time for Valentine's Day with gift boxes offering a Mei Ying the Panda bear and two chocolate hearts for $18 or a crystal rose bowl with a vanilla candle and chocolate heart for $25.


The gift boxes will be advertised on MSN, Excite, coolshopping.com and mall.com. Rollouts for other festive occasions will follow if consumer response is satisfactory.


The gift boxes will retail only on the Bombay Co. site and not at its bricks-and-mortar stores and catalogs.


"Online gives us a way to test different concepts," Ballauf said. "Maybe if this works, who knows what it might bring down the road?"


Bombay Co.'s is phasing in the site's improvements. New servers installed in November eased and speeded navigation. The servers, along with holiday traffic and a few promotions, increased the number of e-mail addresses of online customers from 5,000 last summer to 8,000.

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