The hardware and software retailer shut down half of its 156 stores in January and acquired direct PC marketer Surplus Direct this month for $31.5 million in an effort to grow direct sales.
Analysts are supportive of Egghead's strategy to redouble its efforts at electronic commerce. "They're definitely following the trend," said Michael Autrey, a market analyst with Associated Research Systems. "With more people confident in knowing what they want, it's easier to go through a direct vendor, and you get a better price point."
The revamped site features all of Egghead's inventory and allows users to see inventory and product information in real time. Consumers can put all of their selections into an electronic "shopping cart," which saves them the hassle of downloading each software title as it is purchased. When the customer finishes paying for the items, the download links appear.
Egghead's push into direct marketing is part of a rebuilding period after several turbulent months. Last month, Egghead posted a shrinking net loss for the first quarter of $3.7 million, compared with a loss of $12.4 million for the first quarter last year. The company attributed the improvement to the money saved by the closing of the stores.