Cliff Hanger Christmas

It's a live-or-die season for e-tailers. But out of the carnage will emerge a more viable bricks-and-clicks model

The merchandise once adorned the elegant Web site called like an imperial bazaar: Cartier watches, Italian leather tote bags, even a $12,000 antique Faberge spoon. Yet despite $20 million from sterling names like Sequoia Capital (SEQUX) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL), it's suddenly all gone. All that remained of the luxury e-tailer's site recently was a stark electronic epitaph posted on Sept. 22. " is no longer in business. We appreciate your past support." Now, even that terse farewell is gone. In fact, the entire site has vanished, as if it never existed.

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