Races To Open Doors

Austin, Texas-based, Inc. has announced that its multi-retailer Web site will launch this Sunday to coincide with the televised 500 Indy Racing League Championship on ABC. will feature more than 200 nationally known brand-name stores, including Macy’s, Sears, GAP, FAO Schwarz, Brooks Brothers, Zale’s, Barnes & Noble and Tower Records, among others. The site is set up to simulate a real mall, with a layout similar to the traditional mall concept.

Additionally, will offer shoppers features that are not found in regular malls. For example, available e-mail, fax and voicemail capabilities will enable customers to receive messages from merchants announcing sales, specials and other events and incentives. A search function will enable customers to search all of the merchants for specific brands and products.

Additionally, shoppers will be able to purchase items from multiple stores without having to re-enter credit card and contact information. Visitors to will even be able to watch previews for upcoming major motion pictures and order refreshments from the “Food Court.”

A Timesaver Approach to Holiday Shopping

Recognizing that a large percentage of shoppers are pressed for time, has established the site with ease-of-use in mind, cutting out repetitive steps in the process.

“Our main point of difference is the convenience and simplicity that we offer to online shoppers,” said Lawrence F. Latham, president of “For years I have recognized shopping online is not as easy as it should be. It still requires too much searching and surfing.”

Future plans call for additional e-tailers to join By early 2000, new features will be added, including the ability for two people to shop simultaneously from different locations, as well as shopping cart features which allow for a single point of purchase per visit.

And They’re Off

Since public awareness is the key to’s success as an entrant into the e-commerce marketplace, Sunday’s 500 Indy Racing League Championship is poised to offer the site a much-needed jumpstart. The race, to be televised at 2 p.m. EST on ABC, will feature eight 30-second commercials from, as well as the logo on championship contender Sam Schmidt’s car. will also benefit from a $10 million (US$) fourth-quarter 1999 advertising campaign to support the launch of their Internet property. The campaign is being developed and produced by’s agency, the Austin office of USWeb/CKS, which also developed the site and is integrating all supporting technologies.

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