Three more dot-coms hit by financial problems

Three more dot-com companies, hawking everything from arts and crafts to wine, are joining the growing ranks of e-commerce ventures that have been forced to resort to heavy layoffs or closings because of financial problems.

Three more dot-com companies, hawking everything from arts and crafts to wine, are joining the growing ranks of e-commerce ventures that have been forced to resort to heavy layoffs or closings because of financial problems.

Send.com, a high-end online gift-giving service, announced via a notice posted on its website that it's shutting down, just six months after hiring a former LL Bean executive to run its worldwide operations and help develop a new growth strategy for the company.

Meanwhile, IdeaForest.com, which jointly runs an online arts and crafts store with brick-and-mortar fabric retailer Jo-Ann Stores, and online wine seller Wine.com both announced layoffs aimed at reducing their costs.

Send.com CEO Michael Lannon, who founded the online retailer four years ago, says in the shutdown notice that the company "has been forced to close its doors due to the ongoing uncertainty in the economic environment surrounding our business." Business operations at Send.com are being stopped immediately, he adds.

A message on the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company's telephone states simply: "We have retired to an exotic island, never to return. As soon as the surf's down, we will check for messages." The message box was full.

Rich Bergslund, president and CEO at IdeaForest.com, also blames the "current e-commerce environment and projections for business-to-consumer funding" as the reason behind the layoffs that the El Segundo, California-based company announced late yesterday. IdeaForest.com says 40 of its 66 employees are being let go due to the lack of new financing, with the remaining workers staying on to handle day-to-day operations of the website it runs for Jo-Ann Stores.

Wine.com in Napa, California, said 75 of its 235 employees are being laid off as part of a restructuring strategy plan aimed at streamlining its operations.

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