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SPECIAL REPORT: MAKING MONEY ON THE INTERNET

Sweet on the Online Idea

March 31, 1997|JACLYN EASTON

Seasonal businesses, especially those based on holidays, can be particularly difficult to manage, but the Web is proving to be a safety net for many--including Pink Moment Sweets.

Pink Moment (http://www.pms.com), which specializes in bonbonniere boxes and gourmet chocolate, went on the Internet in December 1994 as owner Bette Ober sought a way to smooth out her retail peaks and valleys. Ober originally launched the site--for all of $2,000--with her elegantly boxed confections and, after establishing a customer base, branched out into jewelry, lingerie and watches.

This has proven to be a virtual windfall.

"The theme of our pages is now romance, in the classic sense," Ober said. "Glamour is never out of style." The signature bonbonniere boxes run about $165, and the real romantics can fill them with Swiss truffles costing up to $32.95 for 25.

Pink Moment is testimony to the importance of being first: Ober created her online site just as Web shopping was emerging. The lack of competition gave her an early lead, which let her claim her turf and bond with her Internet shoppers before the big guns, such as Godiva, arrived. Now, even during slow periods, Pink Moment Sweets' online presence can account for 25% of total revenue.

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