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January 10, 2001

Houston, Tex.


HOUSTON, Tex. -- In the midst of dot-com failures and retailer post-holiday angst, at least one e-commerce company had a bright Christmas., which has the world’s largest selection of African-American products and is the most highly trafficked African-American e-commerce site in cyberspace, experienced a 115% increase in year 2000 fourth quarter revenue when compared with 1999. The privately-held Houston-based corporation experienced a similar increase in its sales between Thanksgiving and the end of the year -- the traditional Christmas buying season. Further, the increase was realized without utilizing some of the dramatic measures adopted by other retailers and B2C sites, such as deep discounting and free shipping.

"In fact," says President and CEO Willie A. Richardson, "we charged the suggested retail price for nearly all of our Christmas merchandise and applied normal shipping charges to every order."

Although as a privately held firm, does not release sales figures, Richardson says the company is on track to reach profitability by this spring. He attributes the firm’s holiday success to three primary factors:

The early realization that pure-play Internet retail was not going to be profitable in the foreseeable future. The company implemented a three-pronged retail strategy, establishing a twice-annual catalog over a year ago and opening a brick-and-mortar store in Houston last September.

The uniqueness of product selection. "We offer Afrocentric items that our customers literally cannot find elsewhere," said Richardson.

Excellent customer service. "While most e-commerce companies focused primarily on technology and put customer service on the back burner," says Richardson, "from day one we offered excellent customer service and responded to market demand. And it has paid off."’s product lines include African-American books, videos, toys, games, dolls, art prints, software, calendars, greeting cards, stationery items, apparel, collectibles, Black Greek products and home decor items. The company plans to expand its product selection in 2001 to include more than 20,000 items.

For media interviews or more information, contact Gwen Richardson at (281) 444-4265.

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