Value America To Build Online Store For Attorneys

Online department store Value America (Nasdaq: VUSA) is expanding into niche markets. Today, Value America announced a strategic alliance with Attorneys Online, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Publishing Company of North America (Nasdaq: PCNA), to build and maintain its new online store.

The store will be called America’s Legal Super Store and debut in the summer. The store will offer law books, directories and CD-Roms. Certain products already being sold on Value America, such as office and computer products, electronics and sporting goods, will also be offered.

“Our partnership with Attorneys Online means that lawyers across the nation will be able to do one-stop shopping not only for legal products, but also for office, household and recreational items,” said Craig Winn, chairman and founder of Value America.

Offline Promotion For Online Store

The Publishing Company of North America is the leading publisher of official bar association membership directories, and the new online store will be aggressively promoted in those directories. The store will also be marketed on legal information portal FindLaw.com.

On Wednesday, Attorneys Online announced a strategic alliance with Findlaw.com. Under the terms of the deal, the portal site will be promoted in bar association membership directories. In exchange, Findlaw.com will promote the online store, as well as Attorneys Online’s own portal site, which has yet to be launched.

Findlaw.com features legal search tools, case law, legal news, real-time SEC filings, community discussion areas and online continuing legal education.

Stock Impact

Shares of Value America, which sells items from 20 industries including consumer electronics, sporting goods, jewelry, books, and home improvement, were up 3/8 to 29-1/2 in early trading today, while shares of the Publishing Company of North America climbed 1/8 to 2-1/2.

Value America, which has Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Federal Express as major shareholders, went public on April 8 at $23 a share and closed at 55 in its first day of trading. The stock is now well off its all-time high of 74-1/4. Value America stock plummeted 3-15/16 to 29-3/4 on Thursday after Legg Mason initiated coverage of the company with an under-perform rating. Legg Mason believes that Value America’s stock is overvalued, considering its low profit margins.

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