Dress Barn Taps NaviSite For New Web Store

Applications service provider and Web hosting company NaviSite (Nasdaq: NAVI) announced today that it has been selected by specialty women’s clothing retailer Dress Barn (Nasdaq: DBRN) to help launch its new e-commerce site. Dress Barn operates 674 brick-and-mortar stores in 43 states.

The site will be launched next spring, with NaviSite providing hardware, software, installation and system monitoring, management and support.

NaviSite To Run The Web Back End

Dress Barn will outsource much of its Web operations to NaviSite. All the hardware and the software for the e-commerce site will be located in NaviSite’s data center. In addition to providing Web hosting and application management, NaviSite will also provide hardware and software from Compaq, Microsoft and Oracle for Dress Barn’s site.

Dress Barn’s existing Web site, which launched in March, currently offers corporate information and allows customers to buy gift certificates. The company also recently launched a mail-order catalog. Dress Barn says its new e-commerce site will allow the company to cross-promote its brick-and-mortar and online presence. In addition, customers will be able to return merchandise purchased online to any of Dress Barn’s brick-and-mortar stores.

The Stock Beat Goes On

Shares of NaviSite climbed 4-15/16 to 72-13/16 in early trading today. The stock has been a top performer on Wall Street since going public at $14 a share on October 22. Shares of Navisite gained 20-5/8 to 34-5/8 on their first day of trading, and they’ve been on an uptrend ever since.

This is not a surprise because Internet infrastructure stocks have been on a tear in recent weeks. On strong reason for the rise is the perceived trend of branded brick and mortar retailers like Dress Barn partnering with infrastructure companies like NaviSite. While the Dress Barn deal on its own may be small, investors are betting that many similar deals with branded retailers will follow.

A Strong Pedigree

NaviSite, located in Andover, Mass., has a strong pedigree. It is a majority-owned operating company of Internet incubator CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI), and the company also has Dell Computer and Microsoft Corporation as investors. Last week, NaviSite announced that it has joined Sun Microsystems’ ServiceProvider.com initiative. The companies will work together to deliver fully-managed, outsourced solutions for online businesses.

In addition, CMGI announced last week that several of its operating companies, including NaviSite, are teaming up with content distribution company Akamai Technologies to develop technology that will improve the delivery of content and applications.

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