Hanover's Keystone Aligns With KBkids.com

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Hanover Direct Inc., Weekhawken, NJ, announced last week that its Keystone Fulfillment subsidiary had entered a partnership agreement to provide online fulfillment services for KBkids.com, a new online merchandising venture between BrainPlay.com, Denver and Consolidated Stores Corp., Columbus, OH.


Hanover said Keystone will take charge of all e-commerce fulfillment and processing operations for orders received over the Internet by KBkids.com, and the company will likely provide gift packaging and personalization services during the holidays.


KBkids.com is entering the online toy merchandising category by leveraging its brand relationship with K*B Toys retail outlets, however, it will be managed as a stand-alone Internet brand business rather than a division of the K*B Toys brick-and-mortar retailing operation.


At Keystone Fulfillment, president/CEO Dick Metzler, wouldn't comment on the financial details of the partnership, but said he expected to have everything fully operational by the beginning of the third quarter.


At KBkids.com, CEO Srikant Srinivasan said his company's partnership with Keystone is a strategic move to position KBkids.com as the category leader in online children's retailing.


Although Metzler wouldn't disclose details about Keystone's contract, he acknowledged that strategic relationships between many brand marketers, their direct marketing vendors and fulfillment contractors were evolving.


"It's the brands that are winning in the e-commerce space. And we're betting on brands when it comes to where we're putting our resources. We are very selective with that."


According to Hanover president/CEO Rakesh K. Kaul, the company will continue its emphasis on developing more of the same type of partnerships to become a leader in e-commerce outsourcing.


Launched in 1998, Keystone Fulfillment provides e-commerce system solutions and consulting services to companies entering the e-commerce arena. Its clients have included L.L. Knickerbocker Co., The National Geographic Society and United Retail.
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