Online Stores to Form Network

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Four online stores are working on a network to help consumers find Internet companies more easily. The network is scheduled to debut next month.


The companies -- CdNow (www.cdnow.com), Cyberian Outpost (www.outpost.com), eToys (www.etoys.com) and Reel.com (www.reel.com) -- say the network's mission is to bring together retailers who practice high levels of customer service security and convenience.


The stores involved in the partnership will endorse and expand the reach of other members. Visitors will be referred to a hub page featuring special promotions on numerous goods from other members while interconnecting the merchants.


Meanwhile, DoubleClick (www.doubleclick.com), New York, is teaming up with Compaq's Alta Vista search guide to launch the Alta Vista Holiday Shopping Guide. The purpose of the guide also is to help consumers find online stores.


The guide will include a directory-like structure and an interactive gift guide that provides users with an opportunity to sign up for offers from selected merchants. Companies looking to take part will have three levels of sponsorship to choose from. Taking part so far are N2K, 1-800-Flowers, Reel.com, DVD Express and Junglee.
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