Value America

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Value America was an Albemarle County based internet retailer formed in 1996 in Nevada. In February 1998, it relocated to Albemarle County, with headquarters on Commonwealth Drive. Value America soon sprawled into offices all over the city. The firm was the brain-child of Craig Winn. The website sold the products of over 300 companies. [1] The company spent millions in advertising to attract customers.

Value America Inc. (VUSA) had a strong opening on its first day as a publicly traded: the stock closed at $55 a share, valuing the three-year-old profitless company at $2.4 Billion. [2] Value America had raised the price range for its initial public offering of 5 million common shares to $20-$22 per share from $15-$17. By April 8, 1999 (Thursday afternoon), the stock had climbed to $57. [3]

In 1999, there were plans to buy White Gables, a 1920s estate on Ivy Road, but the deal fell through, paving the way for what is now White Gables Condominiums. In the last week of December 1999, the company laid off more than 300 employees (about 47% its workforce and closed a number of offices). [4]

By 2000, Value America was failing due to the negative effect that the communication problems had on their customer service. The stock had fallen to 72 cents and Value America filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on August 11, 2000. The company's life was charted in the 2003 book dot.bomb: My Days and Nights at an Internet Goliath by its Senior Vice-President David Kuo.


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References

  1. Print: Online retailer growing at the speed of site, Brian Root, Daily Progress, Media General April 6, 1998, Page A1.
  2. Print: Internet retailer goes public this week, Courtney Miller, Daily Progress, Media General April 4, 1999, Page A1.
  3. Web. Value America IPO takes off, while MSG heats up; Architel tumbles, CNNfn market movers, CNN Money, April 8, 1999, retrieved April 8, 2021.
  4. Web. De-Valued: Value America bosses settle claims, Courteney Stuart, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, November 4, 2004, retrieved April 8, 2021. Print. November 4, 2004 , 344, .