Internet retailer gives exotic leathers the boot

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Inc. has stopped selling watchbands, shoes and luggage made from the skins of exotic animals.

The Salt Lake City-based Internet retailer announced Monday that it pulled listings involving items with alligator, lizard, ostrich, stingray, eel, shark and kangaroo skin from its Web site.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took credit for pushing Overstock to reverse course.

PETA showed Overstock Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne a video of lizards and snakes being skinned alive.

In a statement, Byrne thanked PETA for “informing us of these issues and presenting us with evidence that factored into our decision.”

The move follows Overstock’s boycott of fur and ivory goods.

Melissa Wilson, who lobbies retailers for PETA, called on other retailers to “give exotic skins the boot.”

Overstock offers 2 million products, generating sales of more than $834 million a year.

Overstock said it dropped luggage that used alligator skin; shoes made of kangaroo, snake, ostrich and alligator skin; and watchbands of snake, shark and stingray skin.

Shares of Overstock rose 15 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $13.71 in trading Monday. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $6.71 to $17.99.


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