Jnet, the joint Internet venture of Jewelers of America and Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America, has closed its Plano, TX, office and laid off its staff due to financial constraints. The company will now operate from JA's New York City headquarters. JA is the majority investor in Jnet and will run the day-to-day operations.
Jnet was originally launched in October 2000 as a full-service industry portal, which offered original news content, e-commerce enabled Web sites and online catalogs from participating manufacturers and suppliers. The company was run by former CEO Steven Kravit, Vice President of Communications Caroline Stanley and Bev Hori, who was in charge of business development.
"The decision to move operations is purely a business one," says JA CEO Matthew Runci. "Rather than try to build a new brand with Jnet, JA and MJSA will take advantage of their own brands with their respective memberships to introduce the Jnet program." Under JA's operation, Jnet will no longer provide original news content and will focus on providing members with e-commerce Web sites. All JA and MJSA members will have a free basic Web site through Jnet and can purchase e-commerce-capable catalogs for their sites or add Jnet's consumer catalog feature to an existing site. Retailers will also be able to buy products directly from manufacturers who post inventories on their sites.
- by Julia M. Duncan