AOL, Wal-Mart Ready Internet Service
Wal-Mart, Bentonville, AR, will offer subscriptions in its 21,000 stores. The service will be hosted by AOL subsidiary CompuServe but will likely have a brand name revolving around Wal-Mart. The working name is "Wal-Mart Connect."
The move reflects developments in the industry, which once saw many retailers offering free Web service to promote their online sales. Kmart Corp. and Yahoo Inc. in late 1999 teamed to offer unlimited free Internet service via the retailer's online arm BlueLight.com. The service was recently scaled back to 12 free hours per month. After that, subscribers pay $9.95 for 100 hours a month.