Amazon.com is acquiring daily deal site Woot.com, one of the pioneers in offering the one-day bargains that many online consumers seem to love.
Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will purchase Woot (No. 176) for an undisclosed amount.
Amazon, which just about a year ago acquired Zappos.com in a deal valued at almost $900 million, isn’t saying much about its latest acquisition. But in a series of blog postings on Woot.com, founder and CEO Matt Rutledge says his company looks forward to becoming an independent operating subsidiary of Amazon. “From a practical point of view, it will be as if we are simply adding one person to the organizational hierarchy, except that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like you were office furniture,” Rutledge wrote in a blog posting to employees.
Woot, which generated Internet Retailer-estimated web sales of $71.6 million in 2009 and offers one discounted item a day such as computer hardware or an electronics gadget, is making the deal to take advantage of Amazon’s deep pockets and technology base, Rutledge says. “Amazon clearly knows what they’re doing in a lot of areas, so we’re geeked about the opportunities to tap into that knowledge and those resources, especially on the technology side,” says Rutledge. “This is about making the Woot brand, culture, and business even stronger than it is today, and we expect that any changes will be for the better or we wouldn’t bother with this endless paperwork.”
Rather than take the time to build a private sale or daily deal web site, Amazon likes Woot.com because of its already established clientele, says Scot Wingo, CEO of online marketing service provider ChannelAdvisor Corp. “Woot is one of the oldest flash sale sites, and while it doesn’t have all of the buzz of some of the luxury and apparel companies like Gilt Groupe or Ruelala.com, Woot has a huge and loyal following,” says Wingo. “It will be interesting to see what Amazon does with this asset moving forward. It could be used to come out with different verticals such as apparel.”