City Sports Finds the Right Online Technology Fit with UniteU

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Ecommerce solution provider helps bring metro store experience to the Web

They are serious retailers who are committed to making their online venture a success. As with all of our clients, launching a new ecommerce site is a very collaborative and intense effort. I always make every effort to champion the merchant's special requirements so that their site reflects their unique brand image and takes advantage of all that today's technology offers.

Since opening it's first store in Boston in 1983, City Sports has grown to become the retail destination of choice for metropolitan, athletic adults in each of the six cities in which it operates. From 2001 through 2007 the company's online operation was completely outsourced to an ecommerce and fulfillment company. This arrangement allowed City Sports to maintain an online presence without investing in the technology and infrastructure required to operate a website. As online retail grew over the course of six years, the disconnect between the site and City Sports store locations widened, resulting in an online experience that did not match the physical stores or product assortment, and ultimately created a disjointed brand.

Their goal was clear. City Sports needed to bring the in-store energy, product mix and brand experience to the web and they needed the right tools and partners to do it. Their solution was to go with the on-demand, software-as-a-service approach offered by UniteU for site management and to leverage their existing distribution center as well as the store inventories with options such as in-store pickup.

"We were very pleased to discover UniteU™," reports City Sports COO Sean Scales. "Other ecommerce providers we looked at seemed to be either very limiting with their 'packaged software' offering or so big that we could not afford the seven figure price tag."

UniteU's Connected Commerce platform market share has steadily grown over the years in exactly the mid-range that City Sports and other specialty retailers find themselves. In addition to their affordable, scalable and fully featured ecommerce system, UniteU offers something many other ecommerce providers seem to be missing -- expertise.

"Throughout the site build and launch process we worked with a broad spectrum of talented people at UniteU and we benefited from their proven best practice recommendations," continues Scales. "We were especially impressed with the depth of knowledge and responsiveness we got from our Project Manager, Monica Kraft. It was reassuring to have such an experienced and savvy contributor on the UniteU side of the equation."

Monica Kraft, UniteU Director of Solutions Delivery, has been personally involved in the development of hundreds of successful ecommerce sites successful ecommerce site portfolio. "I enjoyed working with the City Sports team," commented Kraft. "They are serious retailers who are committed to making their online venture a success. As with all of our clients, launching a new ecommerce site is a very collaborative and intense effort. I always make every effort to champion the merchant's special requirements so that their site reflects their unique brand image and takes advantage of all that today's technology offers."

Shortly after going live the site won a Gold Hermes Creative Award, which certainly underlines the success of the project in blending an outstanding design with high usability and rich functionality. Meeting the demands of the rapidly changing ecommerce market requires fluid adoption of new web technologies. Advanced capabilities such as filtered navigation search, product reviews and ratings and image enrichment along with web marketing services insure that UniteU customers stand out to the online shopper.

About UniteU
UniteU Technologies, Inc. is a recognized leader in providing specialty retailers with ecommerce solutions that are powerful, yet affordable. UniteU's Connected Commerce® sites are scalable, support custom designs and integrate with back office systems such as Retail Pro and QuickBooks POS. All sites are controlled directly by merchants with opportunities for multiple payment and shipping options, rich imaging, advanced promotions, navigation and in-site search capabilities. UniteU also offers premier managed hosting, leading web analytics tools and web marketing services that drive traffic and increase conversions. For more information visit us at http://www.uniteu.com.

About City Sports
City Sports is an award-winning, specialty sports retailer. The company was founded in 1983 by Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin, opening the first store on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. The company now operates 14 retail stores in metropolitan locations in Boston, Providence, New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and Atlanta as well as online at http://www.citysports.com. City Sports caters to the athletic adult who lives, works or studies in the city. Its product assortment stresses performance selection in footwear, apparel and equipment, geared towards running, triathlon, fitness, racquet sports, swim and outdoor.

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REBECCA RAMME
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