E-Stamp gets distribution through retailers

The Internet postage firm announces a dozen distribution deals with companies such as America Online, Beyond.com, and Buy.com, which could help it expand its reach into the lucrative small office-home office market.

Internet postage firm E-Stamp today announced a dozen distribution deals with companies that could help it expand its reach into the lucrative small office-home office market.

The company signed agreements with 12 Internet and offline retailers including America Online, Beyond.com, Buy.com, CDW Computer Centers, Office Depot and Comp USA.

These companies will begin immediately distributing E-Stamp's postage services in their retail stores, catalogs, and e-commerce sites, E-Stamp said.

The agreements come as the battle to reach the small office-home office market is heating up. Last month, AOL took a stake in E-Stamp main rival Stamps.com.

"We recognize that [small office-home office] businesses purchase a number of products and services designed to make their busy lives easier, so we wanted to make it as convenient as possible for them to get their hands on the E-Stamp Internet postage solution," Robert Ewald, president of E-Stamp, said in a statement.

In the past year, 91.4 percent of all small or home-based businesses have purchased software products in retail outlets, according to research firm International Data Corp.

Stamps.com and other Internet postage companies allow users to print postage at any time through their computers with a printer and Internet connection.

Other companies helping to distribute E-Stamp are Egghead.com, Fry's Electronics, MicroWarehouse, Micro Center and Multiple Zones.

E-Stamp, which went public last month, rose 7.32 percent or 1.69 points to 24.75 in early trading. The stock has traded as high as 33 since it went public.