Earlier this year Thomas Publishing shuttered IEN (Industrial Equipment News) – and now they’ve announced plans to suspend U.S. operations of Thomas Global Register – basically an International directory more in the model of Thomas Register than the evolving Thomasnet (http://www.thomasnet.com)
A major web presence going down is never a good thing and certainly not a good sign for the International manufacturing and export advertising markets; but as Thomasnet has evolved – Thomas Global remained nothing really more than a directory and you have to think that perhaps the need for multiple directories, all in english, just doesn’t make practical sense any more…or perhaps the cost to “reinvent” Thomas Global for the changing marketplace is just too big for the expected return they’d see in these uncertain times. It’s also fair to assume Alibaba and perhaps even Global Sources were continuing to erode market share.
Either way, I’m sure they still have a healthy chunk of advertising dollars still coming in for it; albeit declining, so I’m sure they’ll devise a plan to funnel those dollars to thomasnet vs. lose them altogether.
Link (via BtoB magazine): http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090702/FREE/907029993