Tech Industry

Value America up after brief outage

The struggling e-tailer relaunches its Web site only to be hit by a partial outage this morning, preventing some customers from entering the site.

Struggling e-tailer Value America relaunched its Web site today only to be hit by a partial outage, preventing some customers from entering the site.

Several visitors to the site this morning experienced slow page downloads, while others were turned away with a message that read "too many users are connected."

"This error can be caused if the Web server is busy and cannot process your request due to heavy traffic," a message on the site said. "Please try to connect again later."

Despite the error message on the site, Value America chief information officer Bill Brindley said the outage was unrelated to the site's relaunch or to the number of people visiting it. Instead, the downtime was caused by a "hardware lockup" on one of the company's 30 servers and lasted from about 9:55 a.m. to 10:02 a.m. PT, he said.Searching for Value America's lost value

"This is a minor hiccup from my standpoint," Brindley said.

The relaunch comes in the wake of a massive restructuring at Value America. In response to sinking share prices and lower-than-expected earnings, the Charlottesville, Va.-based company announced late last year that it would lay off about half of its staff. As part of the corporate restructuring, Craig Winn, Value America's co-founder and former chief executive, also resigned from the company.

Value America's redesigned site offers tabs for its computing, electronics, software, office and entertainment departments. The company also added special product offers and promotions to its home page.

"This is only the beginning--we will continue to improve our Web site to provide our customers with the best shopping experience possible," company chief executive Glenda Dorchak said in a statement.

After seeing its stock skyrocket to $74.25 per share last spring, Value America's stock has sunk in recent months to about $6 a share. That's far below its initial public offering price of $23 a share.