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Tech Industry

Electronics retailer 800.com withdraws IPO

The company's chief executive says bleak stock market conditions led it to pull the public offering it filed for in March.

Online consumer electronics store 800.com has withdrawn its registration for an initial public offering, the company said today.

Greg Drew, 800.com's chief executive, said bleak stock market conditions led to the company pulling the IPO it filed for in March. At the time, 800.com said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it hoped to raise $60 million.

Because 800.com has completed the necessary paperwork, the company can re-file at any time should investors warm up to Internet stocks again, Drew said.

"We'll just sit and wait until things get better," he said.

Drew and 800.com can afford to wait. The company received $27 million in private financing the day before filing to go public.

However, the deep well of public money that Net companies drank from only a year ago has evaporated. Many investors see technology stocks as too risky and have fled the sector. In recent months, many companies in need of public money have pulled their IPO registrations, including KBkids.com, Deja.com and American Greetings.

In the past three months, scores of dot-coms have burned through their cash and were counting on an IPO to raise badly needed funds to keep operating. For them, withdrawing or postponing an IPO has meant closing their doors.

Among those who ran out of cash and were forced to close down in recent months are Boo.com, Digital Entertainment Network and Toysmart.com.

Furniture.com was close to shutting its doors this month when it received a $27 million cash infusion from a group of investors. To ensure that the money lasts, the company said it laid off 80 employees yesterday, or 41 percent of its workforce.