Ashford.com Announces New CEO

Communicates Preliminary Results for March Quarter



Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ashford.com

    HOUSTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Ashford.com (Nasdaq:   ASFD), the leading e-commerce destination for corporate
 and personal gifts and rewards, today announced that David Gow has been named
 Chief Executive Officer to replace Kenny Kurtzman, who has been named Vice
 Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Gow was also appointed to the company's
 Board of Directors.  In addition, Ashford.com announced preliminary financial
 information for its fourth fiscal quarter, ended March 31, 2001.
     "Ashford has made great strides over the past two years under Kenny's
 leadership," said Rob Shaw, Chairman of the Board and co-founder of the
 company.  "Kenny has been instrumental in making Ashford a success, and we are
 pleased that, as Vice Chairman, he will continue to play a vital role in
 Ashford's future.
     "Looking ahead," Shaw continued, "we believe the company is entering a new
 phase, and new leadership will support our transition.  The Board is confident
 that David Gow can successfully continue Ashford's move from a company focused
 primarily on growth, to one focused on cash flow and the development of more
 profitable categories such as Corporate Gifts sales."
     David Gow, who has served as the company's Chief Financial Officer since
 March of 1999, has also been the leader of Ashford.com's Corporate Gifts Sales
 Division.  "We plan to increase our focus on growing corporate sales while
 improving the efficiency of our retail business," said Gow.  "We feel we made
 progress this quarter despite a generally sluggish retail environment.  Same
 quarter, year over year sales growth is estimated to be approximately 18%, and
 our corporate business continues to grow and provide an important new,
 profitable business for us."
     The company communicated preliminary financial information for the quarter
 ended March 31, 2001.  Based on unaudited financial and operating data for the
 quarter, Ashford.com reported the following preliminary results:
 
     --  Net Sales:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly net sales of
         between $14.0 million and $14.5 million.  These preliminary results
         reflect same quarter, year-over-year growth of approximately 18%.
 
     --  Gross Margin:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly gross margin,
         before certain non-recurring charges, of between 17.5% and 18.5%.
         These preliminary results reflect the impact of a targeted promotional
         offer that affected gross margins by approximately 4%.  This
         promotion, implemented with one of Ashford's new corporate marketing
         partners and continuing through June 2001, resulted in the acquisition
         of approximately 8,700 customers during the quarter.
 
     --  Cash Operating Expenses:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly cash
         operating expenses (including marketing and sales and general and
         administrative expense before non-recurring charges) of between
         $12.0 million and $12.5 million.
 
     --  Charges:  Ashford.com expects to report non-recurring charges of
         approximately $3.5 million.  This includes a non-cash charge of
         approximately $1.8 million of inventory valuation reserves.  Also, the
         company expects to report non-recurring charges of $1.7 million
         associated with restructuring, including severance from a workforce
         reduction in January 2001, cancellation of a number of service
         contracts, and other items.
 
     The financial results set forth above are preliminary and unaudited.
 Ashford.com's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended
 March 31, 2001, are not yet available.  When the annual audited financial
 statements become available, Ashford.com will file them with the Securities
 and Exchange Commission.
 
     Forward-Looking Statements
     This release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and
 uncertainties that include, among others, Ashford's expected financial
 performance for the fourth fiscal quarter and Ashford's operational and
 strategic plans.  Actual results could differ materially from the results
 predicted in this release.  The potential risks and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results to differ from anticipated results include but are not
 limited to the results of the audit of Ashford's financial statements for the
 fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, the unpredictability of future revenues,
 potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer
 trends, competition, risks of system interruption, inventory risks, and risks
 of new business areas, business combinations, and strategic alliances.
 Ashford makes these forward-looking statements as of the date of this release
 and assumes no obligation to update these statements.  More information about
 factors that potentially could affect Ashford's business and financial results
 is included in Ashford's most recent quarterly guidance, provided on
 February 6, 2001, and available at http://www.prnewswire.com/micro/ASFD, as
 well as the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
 including its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q.
 
     About Ashford.com
     Ashford.com is the leading e-commerce destination for corporate and
 personal gifts and rewards.  The company's two e-commerce sites,
 http://www.ashford.com and www.ashfordcorporategifts.com offer over 25,000
 attractive gifts and rewards, including new and vintage watches, jewelry,
 fragrances, leather accessories, diamonds, ties, scarves, sunglasses, and
 writing instruments from more than 400 leading brands.  Dedicated to creating
 an exceptional luxury shopping experience, Ashford.com provides overnight
 shipping on nearly all items, gift packaging, and a 30-day money-back
 guarantee on all merchandise.  It also offers the Ashford.com Protection
 Plus(SM) policy, which provides outstanding product warranties, customer
 privacy, and site security.  Ashford.com is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
     Ashford and Ashford.com are trademarks, and Ashford.com Protection Plus is
 a service mark, of Ashford.com, Inc.  All other marks are the property of
 their respective owners.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77423851
 
 

SOURCE Ashford.com
    HOUSTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 Ashford.com (Nasdaq:   ASFD), the leading e-commerce destination for corporate
 and personal gifts and rewards, today announced that David Gow has been named
 Chief Executive Officer to replace Kenny Kurtzman, who has been named Vice
 Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Gow was also appointed to the company's
 Board of Directors.  In addition, Ashford.com announced preliminary financial
 information for its fourth fiscal quarter, ended March 31, 2001.
     "Ashford has made great strides over the past two years under Kenny's
 leadership," said Rob Shaw, Chairman of the Board and co-founder of the
 company.  "Kenny has been instrumental in making Ashford a success, and we are
 pleased that, as Vice Chairman, he will continue to play a vital role in
 Ashford's future.
     "Looking ahead," Shaw continued, "we believe the company is entering a new
 phase, and new leadership will support our transition.  The Board is confident
 that David Gow can successfully continue Ashford's move from a company focused
 primarily on growth, to one focused on cash flow and the development of more
 profitable categories such as Corporate Gifts sales."
     David Gow, who has served as the company's Chief Financial Officer since
 March of 1999, has also been the leader of Ashford.com's Corporate Gifts Sales
 Division.  "We plan to increase our focus on growing corporate sales while
 improving the efficiency of our retail business," said Gow.  "We feel we made
 progress this quarter despite a generally sluggish retail environment.  Same
 quarter, year over year sales growth is estimated to be approximately 18%, and
 our corporate business continues to grow and provide an important new,
 profitable business for us."
     The company communicated preliminary financial information for the quarter
 ended March 31, 2001.  Based on unaudited financial and operating data for the
 quarter, Ashford.com reported the following preliminary results:
 
     --  Net Sales:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly net sales of
         between $14.0 million and $14.5 million.  These preliminary results
         reflect same quarter, year-over-year growth of approximately 18%.
 
     --  Gross Margin:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly gross margin,
         before certain non-recurring charges, of between 17.5% and 18.5%.
         These preliminary results reflect the impact of a targeted promotional
         offer that affected gross margins by approximately 4%.  This
         promotion, implemented with one of Ashford's new corporate marketing
         partners and continuing through June 2001, resulted in the acquisition
         of approximately 8,700 customers during the quarter.
 
     --  Cash Operating Expenses:  Ashford.com expects to report quarterly cash
         operating expenses (including marketing and sales and general and
         administrative expense before non-recurring charges) of between
         $12.0 million and $12.5 million.
 
     --  Charges:  Ashford.com expects to report non-recurring charges of
         approximately $3.5 million.  This includes a non-cash charge of
         approximately $1.8 million of inventory valuation reserves.  Also, the
         company expects to report non-recurring charges of $1.7 million
         associated with restructuring, including severance from a workforce
         reduction in January 2001, cancellation of a number of service
         contracts, and other items.
 
     The financial results set forth above are preliminary and unaudited.
 Ashford.com's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended
 March 31, 2001, are not yet available.  When the annual audited financial
 statements become available, Ashford.com will file them with the Securities
 and Exchange Commission.
 
     Forward-Looking Statements
     This release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and
 uncertainties that include, among others, Ashford's expected financial
 performance for the fourth fiscal quarter and Ashford's operational and
 strategic plans.  Actual results could differ materially from the results
 predicted in this release.  The potential risks and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results to differ from anticipated results include but are not
 limited to the results of the audit of Ashford's financial statements for the
 fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, the unpredictability of future revenues,
 potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer
 trends, competition, risks of system interruption, inventory risks, and risks
 of new business areas, business combinations, and strategic alliances.
 Ashford makes these forward-looking statements as of the date of this release
 and assumes no obligation to update these statements.  More information about
 factors that potentially could affect Ashford's business and financial results
 is included in Ashford's most recent quarterly guidance, provided on
 February 6, 2001, and available at http://www.prnewswire.com/micro/ASFD, as
 well as the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
 including its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q.
 
     About Ashford.com
     Ashford.com is the leading e-commerce destination for corporate and
 personal gifts and rewards.  The company's two e-commerce sites,
 http://www.ashford.com and www.ashfordcorporategifts.com offer over 25,000
 attractive gifts and rewards, including new and vintage watches, jewelry,
 fragrances, leather accessories, diamonds, ties, scarves, sunglasses, and
 writing instruments from more than 400 leading brands.  Dedicated to creating
 an exceptional luxury shopping experience, Ashford.com provides overnight
 shipping on nearly all items, gift packaging, and a 30-day money-back
 guarantee on all merchandise.  It also offers the Ashford.com Protection
 Plus(SM) policy, which provides outstanding product warranties, customer
 privacy, and site security.  Ashford.com is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
     Ashford and Ashford.com are trademarks, and Ashford.com Protection Plus is
 a service mark, of Ashford.com, Inc.  All other marks are the property of
 their respective owners.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77423851
 
 SOURCE  Ashford.com