The Web’s best friend?

A ghost of Internet past is back

Photography by Liz Sullivan

A ghost of Internet past is back in the form of Wag.com—a new Amazon venture set on recreating Pets.com, the pet supply store whose failure in 2000 became an enduring symbol of that era’s dot-com bubble. Wag.com is the creation of Quidsi, the company responsible for Diapers.com and Soap.com. Amazon acquired Quidsi for $540 million in April, and hopes to dodge the bad luck linked to Pets.com, which couldn’t break even on shipping costs despite massive marketing success and a Super Bowl spot. The new site sells 10,000 pet supplies including food, clothing and litter. While Amazon hasn’t had much luck with its prior pet ventures (it backed Pets.com), Quidsi co-founder Marc Lore told the New York Times that today’s health food craze may give Wag.com an edge that its predecessor never had. “People buy more organic pet food now,” he says, “so shipping costs as a per cent of revenue are lower.”