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Retail Solutions Briefs: Priceline.com, Visa, uBid, CoShopper

Retail Solutions Briefs: Priceline.com, Visa, uBid, CoShopper

Priceline.com hits Oz

Priceline.com has announced it has signed a deal with Equant to build an Australian Web site.

The move, which will also include sites in Europe and Asia, comes after a month in which Priceline.com has seen its stock price tumble in the wake of customer complaints.

But the name-your-price e-commerce site will close down its merchandise, grocery and petroleum businesses to focus on airfares, accommodation, money lending and car business.

Priceline's Perfect YardSale site is in the process of winding down operations and will close on December 5.

Visa launches merchant security site

Visa International has launched a new global data security Web site for merchants and announced new operating policies for protecting confidential consumer information on merchant sites. The Web site, www.visa.com/secured, gives international merchants information about how to meet expanded data-protection standards related to the way Visa account information is stored. The site provides self-assessment tools as well as downloadable guides to Visa's new data-security standards and best practices.uBid shuts up shopuBid Australia has folded operations, due to depleting cash reserves and its parent company, LibertyOne, focusing soley on Web-integration business Zivo and foreign investment opportunities.

A skeleton team of six will hold the fort until the site shuts down on October 27.

According to LibertyOne's chief executive, Marcel Anderson, 40 employees were laid off. The e-tailer will be handed back to uBid headquarters in the US on October 29 through a settlement which will save LibertyOne an estimated cash burn of $6 million, she said.

"The only reason [uBid is closing] is that LibertyOne doesn't have the capacity to grow the business in Australia," Anderson said.

CoShopper a hit with consumers

Newly launched online consumer-buying community CoShopper.com has registered its 1000th member.

The milestone, achieved in four weeks, was well ahead of the company's forecast for the Australian market. CoShopper.com offers discounted prices of up to 30 per cent for brand-name products across a range of categories, including computers, communications and leisure equipment. The most popular products purchased to date have been Toshiba Satellite laptop computers, stainless steel knife sets and wine and picnic packs.


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