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SALT LAKE CITY, Jan 2, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Despite the weak economy and fewer contributions being made by consumers to charitable causes this holiday season, Overstock.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSTK), the Internet liquidation leader, today announced that its customers purchased a record $1 million in socially responsible goods from its Worldstock department in the fourth quarter.
This milestone in gross merchandise sales reflects 200% growth over the $333,000 that consumers spent in the same quarter last year.
Overstock.com estimates that this million-dollar level provides a significant portion of income for 2,500 artisans and over 10,000 of their dependents (based on an estimate of 5 dependents per artisan) in the United States and 40 developing countries.
Overstock.com CEO, Patrick Byrne said: "Given the state of our economy, we were somewhat surprised to see Worldstock sales triple over last year. We attribute this growth to a fourth quarter marketing campaign targeting socially conscious holiday shoppers, and to a greater breadth and depth in our product selection for those purchasing home decor gifts, which was one of the hottest-selling product categories of the holidays."
To support the department's expansion in 2003 to more artisans and customers, Overstock.com lowered its maximum net profit pricing from 5% to 1%. This commitment, verified by an independent auditor, means lower prices for consumers, more demand, and consequently, more jobs for artisans.
Byrne continued: "Clearly, our Worldstock customers value the pride of craftsmanship in these artisans, and in turn, the opportunity to help them earn a living. With average wages in developing countries often running at less than $100 per month, our customers can rest assured that every item they purchase on Worldstock makes a significant contribution to the income of the artisan who created it."
With Worldstock, Overstock.com has created a global marketplace for artisans in the United States and in nearly every corner of the world to sell their crafts to consumers through the Internet. Just as with its primary business of liquidation, the company eliminates multiple layers of middlemen: thus it can afford to price Worldstock items lower than similar items can be found at local specialty stores, while offering artisans the chance to grow and create new opportunities in their communities.
Overstock.com delivers the best values for name-brand consumer merchandise. Since launching the site in October 1999, Overstock.com estimates that it has saved consumers more than $200 million off manufacturer suggested retail prices. Overstock.com is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ National Market System, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and can be found online at www.overstock.com.
Overstock.com is a trademark of Overstock.com, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the portion of income Overstock.com sales represent to the Worldstock artisans, and the effect on demand of Worldstock products and the number of jobs for Worldstock artisans as a result of the reduction in Overstock.com's maximum net profit pricing. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ, including, but not limited to, our limited operating history, our ability to manage growth, market acceptance of our B2B services, a general downturn in economic conditions, and such other risks as identified in our Prospectus dated May 29, 2002, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and all subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements.
Overstock.com Leslie A. Dotson, 415/377-4414 firstname.lastname@example.org
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