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Financially beleaguered online retailer

said Monday it would end operations and lay off 76 of its 88 employees, citing difficulty in securing sufficient capital to fund operations.

The Framingham, Mass.-based company, which launched in January 1999, said it has been placing customer deposits and payments into an escrow account since late May in order to safeguard availability of the funds for refund. The escrow agent will contact eligible customers who have not received refunds within 60 days with instructions on how to submit refund claims.

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According to

Wall Street Journal

report, managed to raise $27 million in June, bringing total investments in the company to $75 million. However, the new financiers placed a value of only about $37 million on the company, including the new cash, as opposed to the hundreds of millions of dollars that the company was said to have been worth in June of last year. said its 12 remaining employees will oversee matters relating to the closure, including the review of options for sale of the company's assets.