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(April 3, 2001) -- Walmart.com will start selling flowers online, moving into one of the more successful e-commerce ventures. Starting in mid-April, Wal-Mart will begin to sell Dole Fresh Flowers in nine different bouquets. Flower sales begin in mid-April in time for Mother's Day. A second new site, one selling steaks, will launch in time for Father's Day. Online flower sites have been one of the earliest e-commerce successes on the Web. 1-800-Flowers.com, one of the leading online flower sellers, reported 5 million visitors to its Web site this past Valentine's Day alone, with orders up 50% from a year earlier. Walmart.com is based in Brisbane, Calif., and is a joint venture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and venture capital firm Accel Partners. -- Alice Z. Cuneo

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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