The Santa Monica, Calif.-based online toy retailer will replace its own Baby Store with BabyCenter, a site focused on parenting and baby products acquired by eToys last April, according to Ken Ross, the company's vice president of communications.
"Focusing all of our baby efforts on one strong brand and gaining efficiency of a common back-end operation is very advantageous for eToys and its customers," he said in an interview.
The move comes as eToys emerges from a record holiday shopping season and deals with a rocky new year. Shares in the company have fallen since the holidays to a record low--well beneath their offering price of $20. The company also is under investigation by the FTC concerning its marketing practices.
Last month, BabyCenter sold its Consumer Health Interactive division to an investor group led by J.H. Whitney for about $20 million in cash and stock.
As part of today's efforts, eToys is moving the distribution and logistical operations of San Francisco-based BabyCenter to Southern California. In addition, the company will cut an unspecified number of jobs at BabyCenter, while others will be relocated, Ross said. BabyCenter has 160 employees.
BabyCenter's headquarters will remain in San Francisco, but company founders Matt Glickman and Mark Selcow will leave the company. eToys named BabyCenter senior vice president Mari Baker, 35, as general manager.