Jeff Stratman

The electronics industry cranks out new digital products with the promise that they can work together in some capacity and make our lives more exciting. Merchandising these convergence products, however, can be an expensive hassle, one that is frustrating the retail ranks, with the possible exception of the national chains. The national chains, capable of leveraging sizeable internal and vendor resources, face a different challenge: how to execute and maintain a convergence merchandising effort over hundreds of store locations. The challenge is basic. Digital technology can create wonderful experiences, how can retail present those experiences to customers—to demonstrate what happens when you

By David Dritsas and Janet Pinkerton is a bet that women like and will buy consumer electronics in volume. And Laurie Novi, Kate Connors and other employees and board members at parent company so far are willing to take the gamble. was originally the online retail portal for Cambridge Soundworks, first launched in 1995. In October 1999, reorganized itself into a full-blown e-tailer, offering products from several other manufacturers. In February 2000, launched, a Web site that sells the same products but gears the site's look and information to appeal to women. was the brainchild of the

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