Disney Makes Online Back-to-School Push

By adding GO Shop to their network of online family entertainment sites, The Walt Disney Co. is making a major attempt to tap into the lucrative back-to-school market. Parents and students can now visit Go.com, Disney.com and Family.com in order to browse for and purchase the items they need as they head back to school.

The sites are offering clothing and accessories, learning tools, basic school supplies and items for after school. The latter category includes a broad range of items to keep kids busy before they start their homework, such as sporting goods, toys, videos and video games. The Go Shops have more than 4 million items for K-12 students.

The shopping service also provides a “Back-to-School Buying Guide” to help visitors find what they need, or what they do not yet know they need. Parents can get tips and advice on the wants and needs of students all over the country, to make sure their kids measure up, or they can visit a back-to-school parents message board to exchange notes. Go Shop also features live chats and home pages for teachers and students.

Back to Goofing Off?

In conjunction with the rollout of the new school-oriented shopping service, Disney.com added 30 new entertainment attractions to a new back-to-school section of its Web site. The entry page is designed as a room full of lockers, each opening a different activity. The lockers feature games and giveaways, advice and gossip columns and concert updates.

Meanwhile on Family.com, the back-to-school section features eight activities to help kids start focusing on school, a guide to new hairstyles, help pages for homework and tips for packing lunch boxes.

The GO Network is hosted by Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK), in partnership with the Walt Disney Co. Based on number of monthly visits, it is the fifth-ranked Internet property and second most popular search site, according to Web research firm Media Metrix. In June, without the help of its back-to-school effort, GO did not rank among the top 10 most visited shopping sites. Disney.com ranks sixth among news and information sites.

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