Overstock.com launches virtual storefront for small businesses

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E-commerce merchant Overstock.com officially unveiled its Main Street Store microsite on June 4. The new retail channel will contain more than 2,500 products from small and minority-owned businesses across the country. Categories include furniture, jewelry and gourmet food.

According to Angela Ramirez, the buyer for the site, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne wanted to give small businesses an opportunity to sell their products and “help them get their business operations to the next level.”

Ramirez added that the Main Street Store site, which was in development for five months, had a soft launch on April 25. It was not made official until a sufficient amount of inventory was placed on the site.

Challenges have been largely technical as some business owners either lack quality images of products to send to the Main Street Store site to display, or they don't have adequate knowledge of how the site's interface works.

“There's been a lot of hand-holding,” noted Ramirez. “Replenishment of inventory might be a future challenge [for us]. Hopefully, traffic will improve sales.”

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