Sears, Roebuck & Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill., and America Online, Dulles, Va., inked a marketing deal under which AOL's interactive products and services will be marketed to Sears customers nationwide. In addition, Sears merchandise and services will be marketed to AOL members and visitors to AOL's Web-based brands including CompuServe and ICQ. AOL also will be Sears' preferred online provider under the deal; a co-branded version of AOL with links to Sears will be developed and marketed to Sears customers in dedicated locations in Sears stores. Sears customers will have the option of paying for AOL service with their Sears credit card; AOL will develop a co-branded AOL Instant Messenger to enable consumers to converse in real time with Sears customer service. The deal also includes plans to market broadband access and Internet-enabled devices, and the companies will develop broadband installation services.
Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.