IQ News: Eschewing Bricks And Mortar, Pittsburgh Store Opens Online

Just in time for the annual June nuptials blitz, Reset, a New York-based interactive agency, today will launch a wedding site and online store for Weisshouse, a popular Pittsburgh housewares store. The site includes a section for couples to create their own wedding-related homepages, as well as a gift registry and tips from professional wedding consultants.
Valerie Goodman, vice president of business development at Reset, said permits the family-owned business to expand to other markets, minus the physical construction costs. More retailers are eyeing cyber turf to boost sales. Earlier this year, in a move that has shaken up the software retail industry, the Spokane, Wash.-based Egghead Computer chain renamed itself, and completely converted its operation from storefronts to a more cost-effective online catalog business.
Weisshouse owner Lou Weiss figured the site will help build the store into a national brand. “We felt it was a good way of doing it. For basically the [operating] cost of a store, we can get things up and going.”
While the site has some of the standard wedding features, including a planner, it will also include a live feed from ceremonies at Las Vegas wedding chapels and a section called Taboo Talk that addresses topics such as shotgun weddings and gay marriages. “We want it to be not so saccharine,” Weiss said. “We want it to have a point of view.”
While the site will not be ad-supported, Goodman said, it will be promoted later this year in the store’s first online media buy, plus in its regular TV and print ads.
Eventually, Weiss hopes to expand the store’s online ventures to include other seasonal gift items.