Cyberian Outpost

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Cyberian Outpost, Inc.
Public company
Traded as NASDAQCOOL
Industry E-commerce
Fate Acquired
Successor Fry's Electronics
Founded 1995[1]
Founder Darryl Peck
Defunct 2001 (2001)
Headquarters Kent, Connecticut, United States
Products Computer hardware & software
Revenue Increase US$355 million (2001)[1]
Number of employees
300[2]
Website outpost.com

Cyberian Outpost was an online vendor of discount computer hardware and software that operated the website outpost.com. After its IPO in 1998, it reached a peak market capitalization of $1 billion, but, after the bursting of the dot-com bubble, its stock price fell rapidly and the company was acquired by Fry's Electronics in 2001 for $21 million.[3]

The company received publicity for its controversial advertisements including one in which gerbils were shot out of a cannon, one where wolves attack a high school marching band, and one where children in daycare are being tattooed with "outpost.com" on their foreheads.

History[edit]

Cyberian Outpost was founded in 1995 by Darryl Peck.[1]

Cyberian Outpost was one of the earliest successful online-only retailers. Unlike many large retailers of the time, the company marketed directly to expert consumers instead of businesses and specialized in hard-to-find Macintosh products in a market saturated with Microsoft-compatible products. Outpost.com marketed its products around the world and offered its website in 11 languages and sold to customers in 140 countries.[4][5]

The company expanded rapidly, taking advantage of the booming Internet. Revenue increased from $1.9 million in the year ended February 29, 1996 to $22.7 million in the year ended February 28, 1998.[5]

In 1997, Money Magazine rated the site as "Best Site for Computer Equipment".[4][5] Outpost.com raised $2.7 million in venture capital in 1997, at which point the site had 25,000 visitors per day and 1.3 million customers.[2] The company secured another $22 million in financing in 1998,[6] and raised another $70 million from its initial public offering.[2] Outpost.com opened a warehouse in Ohio that could guarantee next-morning domestic delivery and worldwide delivery within 48 hours.[4]

After the dot-com bubble burst, the company fell on hard times. In 2001, the company entered into a merger agreement with PC Connection but then terminated that merger agreement and the company was sold to Fry's Electronics for $21 million including the repayment of $13 million in debt from PC Connection.[7][8][1][9] At that time, the company had 1.4 million customers and 4 million visitors per month to its website.[1]

Marketing[edit]

Outpost.com forged marketing partnerships with major Internet portals, such as AOL, CNet, and Lycos[10] in which Outpost.com was featured on these popular websites.[5]

Outpost.com hired Cliff Freeman to produce TV ads, whose agency had created the "Pizza Pizza" campaign for Little Caesars and the "Where's the Beef?" campaigns for Wendy's International.[4][11] Outpost.com adopted a zealous and controversial marketing program which included a Super Bowl ad in which fake gerbils were shot out of a cannon at the company logo,[12] followed later by an ad that featured a high school marching band being attacked by a pack of ravenous wolves,[13] and another ad portraying pre-school toddlers being tattooed with 'Outpost.com' across their foreheads.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]