Back to bricks and mortar?

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Gazoontite.com, an online supplier of asthma and allergy relief products, has laid off 41 per cent of its staff, primarily technology workers, as it re-focuses on its more-successful bricks and mortar outlets.

The company was one of the first of the purely online companies to pursue the bricks and mortar route. Founder Soon Chart Yu, is reported to be stepping down in favour of new CEO Dan Korn.

The company simultaneously launched its website and a San Francisco store in the spring of 1999. It now has stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York and plans to roll out 20 more.

Elsewhere, the online pharmaceutical market is experiencing a rough ride. Shareholders are suing Drkoop.com, alleging that the company mislead investors by delaying the disclosure of a negative report that questioned its viability.

And natural health e-tailer Clickmango.com seems set to wind up by the end of this month.

Apparently bucking the negative trend, Drugstore.com showed Q2 sales up by 593% to $24.6 million, compared to $3.5 million a year ago. But losses rose from $19.7 million in the second quarter of 1999 to $54.7 million in 2000.

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