OurHouse.com

Online home goods retailer
Amazon Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Software & Hardware
Started:
1999
BUSINESS FAILURE
Cause:
Multiple Reasons
Closed:
2001

Description

OurHouse.com was an online home goods retailer founded in 1999. The website sold home improvement products in many categories including décor, gardening, dining, and cooking. Customers could choose from a selection of up to 30,000 home improvement items. On the side, they provided helpful information and advice about home projects. 

The company was acquired by Amazon in 2001 for an undisclosed amount.

Ad

The Founder's Mindset

Unlock your potential as a founder. Discover the mental strategies that the best startup founders use to build successful products. In this video series, we’ll guide you to think like a top startup founder. Get free access to The Founder's Mindset →

Cause of Failure

In 2001, just after two years of service, OurHouse.com stopped selling home goods on its website. The retailer had been struggling to keep up with the competition since its inception. The CEO informed the public about the shut down as the website removed everything, leaving only the name and logo behind.

Most of the inventory of OurHouse.com was sold to SmartBargains and was later added to their website. The decision to close OurHouse.com came in the wake of the Company’s long struggle to gain profitability. The home improvement business is a highly competitive one and OurHouse.com simply could not stay profitable or relevant in the rapidly changing industry.

Despite the company’s failure, Amazon didn’t show any hesitation in acquiring it in 2001. During this time, Amazon could be seen acquiring a few other struggling or bankrupt e-tail businesses, such as Egghead. According to Amazon’s spokesperson, such companies had built a loyal customer base over the years, and acquiring them would help Amazon reach a larger audience.

After acquiring the struggling company, Amazon started redirecting its website to the Amazon Home Essentials store. Much like many of the other failed e-tailers purchased by Amazon, OurHouse.com became a way for the e-commerce giant to expand its audience and generate traffic for Amazon.com.

References

The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders

Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest interviews and articles, curated resources for founders, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join other +7,000 startup founders!