RealTime IT News

iTurf.com Closes Shop

dELiA*s Corp., operator of online destinations targeted at the 13- to 24- year-old crowd, Tuesday moved to close its community site iTurf.com -- an online community for teens -- saying that a disproportionate amount of resources had been dedicated to the site although it only represents a small percentage of the overall traffic to the company's network of sites.

The discontinuation of iTurf's operations will result in the lay off of 25 employees, and dELiA*s said it expects to record a one-time charge of about $100,000 in the fourth quarter in connection with the action.

"We believe this is the appropriate step to position our online businesses for profitability in this difficult operating environment," said Stephen Kahn, chief executive officer of dELiA*s.

Kahn said that according to Nielsen NetRatings, the dELiA*s network of sites had 3.6 million unique visitors in October, of which only about 65,000 visited iTurf.

"In conducting a comprehensive review of our online businesses, we decided that the disproportionately high cost of running iTurf.com prohibited ongoing investment," Kahn said. "We remain committed to our leading teen properties: dELiAs.com, gURL.com, TheSpark.com and SparkNotes.com. Although the decision to close iTurf.com was a difficult one, we believe it enables us to deploy our financial resources and personnel more effectively, and will better position our online teen properties for success."