Telecom shutters Ferrit website

Telecom calls quits on online shopping mall venture

Telecom is closing Ferrit, its online shopping mall, saying it is no longer core to the company's business strategy.

Alan Gourdie, Telecom Retail's CEO, says Telecom is focusing on "building customer preference in the key areas of mobile, broadband and ICT".

Telecom is advising retail partners of its decision. Ferrit will stop taking online orders on 14 January at 5pm, the company says in a statement released today.

“Telecom’s aim in launching Ferrit was to help develop New Zealand’s online retail market. Since 2005 we’ve seen a growth in retail adoption of online with many retail players adopting ecommerce and web capabilities," Gourdie says.

“Ferrit has continued to grow during the past three years but the current retail environment has meant the break-even point has shifted out a number of years. The decision has now been made to refocus and resources will be directed to other areas.”

Visitors will continue to be directed to retailers’ own websites from ferrit.co.nz.

Gourdie says Ferrit staff will be redeployed into other parts of Telecom where possible.

Ferrit launched in 2005. Its general manager at the time, Ralph Brayham, said the site's objective was to become the "biggest online shopping mall for retailers to sell new goods".

"This is a nuclear explosion that we're trying to ride. My experience in building stuff like this is you'll fill the time you give yourself, so we might as well set an ambitious target and work towards it," he told the NZ Herald.

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