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More Gifts for Geeks Competition

Boot Camp feature for Monday, March 5, 2007

More competition in the gifts for geeks category. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. An online store called ThinkGeek has carved out a business selling all kinds of techie gadgets and gags. Some of it useful….some of it not. Now it faces competition from across the pond, so to speak. Firebox.com, which got started in the U.K….about a decade ago….has begun selling to U.S. customers as well. CEO Michael Smith….says the catalog is growing…

"At the moment, we've got about five hundred lines and this year we're looking to almost double that to about a thousand. So we try and keep it relatively niche. It's certainly not Wal-Mart or Target. But it's a very tight selection, very cool, very quirky, very unusual products. And as many of them as possible are exclusive to Firebox."

There's an alarm clock for instance….that shoots a propeller driven module into the air when it's time to wake up…forcing you to get of bed. Also big, a little indoor remote control helicopter..

"We also did very well with something called a USB turntable, which basically allows you to take your vinyl collection of music and convert it into MP3 files so you can listen to it on your iPod. And a lot of people bought those."

The turntable sells for about a hundred thirty dollars. Prices for more mundane items, like digital memory cards, are competitive. The site, again, is Firebox.com. You can find us on the Web with an archive of reports at BootCamp.com. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.