Internet retailer eToys has added children's books to the
merchandise it offers, further expanding from its beginnings as a toy
seller on the Internet.
The move comes a month after speculation that
online bookseller Amazon.com would
expand its product offering to include toys.
The eToys bookstore is the sixth children's category added to eToys' flagship toy store in the last nine
months. The bookstore opened its virtual doors over the weekend and the
company hopes the addition of children's books will strengthen the site as
a destination for children's products.
The company also recently expanded its product line with the acquisition of
BabyCenter, a site providing
information about babies and pregnancy as well as baby products and
Santa Monica, California-based eToys will have a selection of more than
80,000, some of which will be featured as picks-of-the-month.
The emergence of eToys has rattled the brick-and-mortar powerhouse Toys R'
Us which launched toysrus.com in
response. eToys sprang out of nowhere in late 1997 to become the
fifth most-visited Internet retailing site by December 1998 with about 3.9
million individual shoppers, according MediaMetrix.
Last month, Derek Brown, an analyst who covers e-commerce companies for
Volpe Brown Whelan, said that online retailer Amazon.com had made moves to
jump into the online toy market. Other companies trying to sell toys online
include Netoy and toymaker Mattel.