Macys.com Debuts---Slowly



The Macy's department store chain relaunched its macys.com Web site yesterday with more than 250,000 kinds of merchandise and an offer of free shipping via United Parcel Service until Nov. 27.

But the site experienced extreme sluggishness because of high traffic volumes--resulting in part from prelaunch publicity and a direct link from America Online, says Kent Anderson, president of Macys.Com, the Macy's subsidiary that operates the site.

Karl Salnoske, general manager for electronic commerce for IBM Software Solutions, which helped design and develop the Macy's site, says yesterday's traffic volume was "several times higher than expected" and resulted in both server capacity overloads and network congestion related to equipment problems. Although the site was online earlier this month for stress testing, projecting traffic volumes for a site is largely guesswork, Salnoske says.

Macys.com is the third iteration of a site first launched in 1996. IBM, which was not involved in the two prior generations, built the revamped version using the IBM Net.Commerce server, DB2, an RS/6000 cluster, and Tivoli TME 10 software.

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