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Hershey is closing its online sweets store

The nation's second-largest candy maker decided that 'the current business model is not sustainable.' The company is offering 25% off on all items until the website's closure on July 31.

July 03, 2009|W.J. Hennigan

The Internet just got a little less sweet.

Hershey Co. announced Thursday that it was closing its Hershey's Gifts online service on July 31. After that, if customers want the nation's second-largest candy maker's products, they'll have to visit local stores.

"Hershey's is making the strategic decision to exit the online retail business," said Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville. "The current business model is not sustainable."

Saville said that the company was looking into other e-commerce options, including strategic partnerships and licensing agreements. He declined to say how much revenue the online service was bringing in or if it was losing money.

The website sells a wide assortment of Hershey's products including chocolate-covered Macadamia nuts. It features packaging for special occasions, such as graduations, birthdays and weddings. Prices are as low as $10 and as high as $150, depending on the item.

Because of the closure of the site -- www.hersheysgifts.com -- the online service has reduced the price of all items by 25%.

Saville said about 12 Hershey's Gifts employees would lose their jobs because of the decision. Hershey hopes to find them jobs with the Hershey, Pa.-based company, he said.

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william.hennigan@latimes.com

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