America Online and Footlocker.com Announce $21.5 Million e-Commerce and Marketing AllianceFoot Locker, Champs Sports and Eastbay Bring World's Largest Selection of Athletic Footwear, Apparel and Equipment to Cyberspace's #1 Shopping and #1 Sports DestinationsDULLES, Va., and NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, and Footlocker.com, Inc., a subsidiary of Venator Group (NYSE: Z), and the world's largest Internet and direct marketing retailer of sporting goods, today announced a major e-commerce and marketing agreement. Footlocker.com operates the online businesses for Foot Locker and Champs Sports, and owns and operates Eastbay, the leading sporting goods cataloger. As part of the agreement, the companies will work together to promote the convenience of shopping on-line to customers of Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Eastbay via in-store and in- catalog vehicles nationwide.Valued at $21.5 million, the two-year alliance provides prominent placement for the Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Eastbay brands on the Shop@AOL marketplace, the largest online shopping destination. In addition, Footlocker.com will receive broad promotion on AOL's Sports Channel, ranked by Media Metrix as the #1 sports destination in cyberspace, and other sports properties across America Online, Inc. brands.Under the agreement, Foot Locker will receive prominent anchor tenancy in the Athletic Shoes & Apparel and Sports & Fitness Departments within each of America Online's comprehensive e-commerce destinations: Shop@AOL, Shop@AOL.COM, Shop@CompuServe, Shop@Netscape, and Shop@Digital City, as well as placement in drkoop.com, the Internet healthcare network led by the former U.S. Surgeon General.In addition, Eastbay will have Gold tenancy and Champs Sports will have Silver tenancy in the above categories, while Foot Locker will also have Gold tenancy in the Boys Teens Apparel and Girls Teens Apparel areas.The two companies will also work together on innovative ways to reach consumers and expand e-commerce by promoting the convenience of shopping on-line to Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Eastbay customers via in-store and in-catalog vehicles nationwide."Footlocker.com brands such as Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Eastbay are among the best-known athletic wear retailers and direct marketers in the country," said Myer Berlow, AOL's President of Interactive Marketing. "This alliance enables us to offer the kind of quality, selection and customer service that AOL members have come to know and trust. With the approaching Spring sports season and new trends and styles available, we are delighted to work with Footlocker.com to give consumers more reason than ever to shop online with AOL.""This is a powerful alliance for Footlocker.com, providing top-tier positioning within the number one online shopping destination, including anchor tenancies in the Shop@AOL categories that matter most to our business," said Jeff Branman, Footlocker.com's Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, we have a comprehensive package of promotions across AOL's Sports Channel, including highly-trafficked major sports, sporting events and scoreboards areas, that we feel will bring huge value to AOL members and enable us to strengthen our position as the world's largest Internet and direct marketing retailer of sporting goods."To deliver an outstanding online shopping experience to Foot Locker, Champs and Eastbay customers, Footlocker.com has created a seamless blend of the offline and online, offering the industry's largest selection of more than 17,000 products and 80,000 different SKUs - backed by an "always in stock" guarantee. Footlocker.com's infrastructure is supported by Eastbay's proven distribution system, with more than 20 years of experience, that performs real-time inventory checks allowing customers the opportunity to purchase the merchandise they want, when they want it.About Shop@AOL Shop@AOL is the product of AOL's unparalleled understanding of the online consumer, built on almost five years of researching members' buying behaviors. Launched in August 1999, the destination offers the easiest and most convenient, comprehensive and entertaining online shopping experience for consumers, while delivering to marketers the largest aggregate audience of first-time and repeat online buyers anywhere in cyberspace.With the recent launch of AOL 5.0, Shop@AOL is directly accessible from the AOL main screen, as well as through various other content areas of the service. The marketplace is also available on the CompuServe Internet service, and AOL.COM, Digital City and Netscape web sites, and was recently integrated into Netscape Communicator (R) 4.7, the latest version of Netscape's award- winning Internet browser and e-mail software.Together, the Shop@AOL destinations are now available to the more than 50 million people who use AOL's network of interactive brands every month, or roughly 70 percent of all those who use online services or the Web every month, according to Media Metrix research. As a result of its extensive reach, Shop@AOL is the largest consumer shopping destination in the world, and the most important online retail channel for merchants.About America Online, Inc.Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: two worldwide Internet services, America Online, with more than 21 million members, and CompuServe, with more than 2.5 million members; several leading Internet brands including ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; Netscape Navigator and Communicator browsers; AOL MovieFone; Spinner.com and NullSoft Winamp. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end e- commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.About Footlocker.com, Inc.Footlocker.com, Inc., a subsidiary of Venator Group, is the world's leading Internet and direct retailer for sporting goods, athletic footwear and apparel. Leveraging the most trusted retail and direct marketing brand names in the industry, Footlocker.com offers the world's largest selection of athletic products and apparel on the Internet and through its catalogs, totaling more than 17,000 products. Through Eastbay and its affiliates, the company operates full-service e-commerce sites, including http://www.worldfootlocker.com, http://www.footlocker.com, http://www.kidsfootlocker.com, http://www.ladyfootlocker.com, http://www.eastbay.com, and http://www.champssports.com, as well as multiple branded catalogs. Through its in-store fulfillment of catalog sales and Internet returns/exchanges, Footlocker.com leverages its physical, online and print presence to create a seamless shopping experience for the customer. In addition, through an exclusive agreement with the National Football League, Footlocker.com manages the NFL's catalog and e-commerce businesses, including the NFL Shop (http://www.nflshop.com).About Venator Group, Inc.Venator Group is a diversified global retailer that operates more than 4,000 retail stores in 15 countries in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Through its athletic group of specialty retail stores, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports, as well as its Internet and direct marketing subsidiary, Footlocker.com, Inc., Venator Group is the world's leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect management's current views of future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are based on many assumptions and factors including the effects of currency fluctuations, consumer preferences, economic conditions world-wide and other factors detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results.SOURCE Venator Group CO: Venator Group; Footlocker.com, Inc.; America Online, Inc.ST: New York, VirginiaIN: MLM REASU:02/08/2000 09:02 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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