Ashford.com Sold for $400,000

Private holding company Luxi Group has acquired online jeweler Ashford.com for $400,000. Ashford.com had been owned by Sunrise, FL-based Odimo, which at one time had also owned Diamond.com and WorldofWatches.com.

Odimo sold Diamond.com to competing online jeweler Ice.com for $9.5 million in May 2006. Odimo was delisted from Nasdaq in August 2006 for failure to maintain a minimum value for its shares.

Ashford.com launched in 1998; by 2001 its annual sales exceeded $65 million. For fiscal 2005, however, its sales had slumped to around $17 million.

According to a March 2007 report by IDEX Online Research, U.S. online jewelry sales totaled $2.45 billion in 2006, up nearly 20% from 2005.

New York-based Luxi Group will use its “combination of e-commerce and industry leadership to capitalize on click-and-mortar opportunities for the new Ashford.com,” according to a company release. Eli Katz, one of the heads of Luxi Group, will take charge of Ashford.com. Katz currently serves as the CEO of The Inside Store (www.insidestore.com), a home decor and renovation supplies Website he founded in 2004. In 1995 Katz had founded iBeauty, one of the Internet’s earliest e-commerce sites.

Luxi Group will begin introducing changes to the Ashford.com Website within a few weeks. It expects to reveal an overhauled site within two months.

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