The name “Delaware North Cos.” may not ring a bell, but chances are you’ve patronized one of its establishments. Delaware North’s businesses range from concession stands at 30 U.S. airports to hotels and dining establishments at Yosemite National Park; it also owns the Boston Bruins. In December 2005 the Buffalo, NY-based company launched its online store, ShopDelawareNorth.com, to provide consumers with one-stop online access to its diverse products.
Items include a $6.99 panoramic print of Niagara Falls, an $84 Ahwahnee limited-edition stained-glass window, a $2,250 handwoven Navajo rug, and a $10,000 authentic meteorite. Spokesperson Kerry Hassen says sales have been solid since the site went live, with an average order size of $200.
“We originally created the site to really tell the story of the special places [national parks, airports, sporting venues] where we have a retail presence,” Hassen says, “so our initial projections were not incredibly high. So far, we have been incredibly pleased with our revenues, especially in the area of gift certificates.”
Much of the Website’s traffic has come through word-of-mouth marketing, although Hassen says the company has done some e-mail marketing to frequent visitors. The company is considering a print catalog for next year that would primarily be distributed in the more than 5,000 rooms of the hotels it manages in the U.S. and Pacific Rim.
URL: www.shopdelawarenorth.com Product category: gifts, souvenirs Launched: December 2005 Target customer: tourists Phone: 716-858-5000 Competitors: C’est la Vie, Patina
Planning a wedding can turn just about anyone into a bridezilla, but GreatWeddingSupplies.com is aiming to make the ordeal a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. Founder Beverlie Grizzle launched the site in April, after deciding that she wanted to “do something on the Internet,” she says.
Sales at GreatWeddingSupplies.com have met expectations, though conversion rates could be better, Grizzle admits. Products range from a $16 Aurora garter to a $24 “bride”-embellished T-shirt to an $85 platter for wedding guests to sign rather than a traditional guest book. Grizzle has added cake toppers to the merchandise mix and might expand the line to include dresses and shoes as well.
Grizzle started pay-per-click advertising on Yahoo! in May and is working on launching an AdSense campaign on Google.
URL: www.greatweddingsupplies.com Product category: wedding supplies and accessories Launched: April 2006 Target customer: engaged couples, brides-to-be Phone: 336-644-0936 Competitors: weddingsuppliesdirect.com, favorwarehouse.com