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Ashford.com smells market share with Jasmin.com buy

Following its deals with AOL and Amazon, the luxury goods online retailer says it will acquire the fragrance seller for an undisclosed amount.

    Ashford.com today said it would acquire Jasmin.com, bringing together two up-and-comers selling fragrances and other luxury items online.

    Neither company would disclose terms of the deal, but in a prepared statement Ashford.com CEO Kenny Kurtzman said that Jasmin.com would make "a great partner as we continue to solidify brand relationships and expand our presence into the entire beauty category."

    The move follows several other deals--one with America Online, another with Amazon.com--that significantly bolster Ashford.com's position as an online retailer. Amazon in December took a 10 percent stake in Ashford.com, opening the online marketer's line of luxury items to Amazon's 13 million customers.

    "We believe that combining our fragrance expertise, extensive brand portfolio and unique fragrance content with Ashford.com's tremendous marketing clout will enable Ashford.com to become the Internet's leading Web site for fragrances," Dale Dewey, CEO of Jasmin.com, said in a prepared statement.

    Kurtzman is no stranger to wheeling and dealing in the fast-paced world of e-commerce. Before taking the chief executive's seat at Ashford.com, Kurtzman was in charge of Compaq.com, Compaq Computer's e-commerce Web portal. Kurtzman joined Ashford.com in May 1999.

    The merger means Ashford.com will get access to Jasmin.com's portfolio of products and services, which include an online fragrances magazine and search engine. Integration of the two retailers' online operations is expected to be completed by the second quarter.

    Besides fragrances, Ashford.com sells online luxury goods in about 11 categories, including diamonds, designer jewelry, watches and more.