WSJ.com Subscriptions Available
Through Barnes & Noble Stores

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Wall Street Journal Online yesterday began selling subscription packages to its fee-based Web site at 550 Barnes & Noble Inc. retail stores.


"Opening a retail channel through our agreement with Barnes & Noble is a unique, strategic way to market an online product," said Randy Kilgore, executive director of sales and marketing at Wall Street Journal Online, New York. "Our physical presence in more than 500 Barnes & Noble stores provides constant visibility for the online Journal in one of the nation's most popular venues."


Barnes & Noble will showcase the online subscription kits, which will contain unique user names and passwords, a mouse pad and a four-color guide to the WSJ Online site. WSJ.com will be able to measure the point-of-purchase program's success by tracking the user names and passwords.


Sales reports from Barnes & Noble will confirm how many packages are purchased from specific stores, "so we can tell where we sell the best," Kilgore said. If the packages are more successful in certain markets, WSJ Online may tailor future point-of-purchase programs to specific regional and local chains, he said.


A year's worth of WSJ Online will cost $49. WSJ Online is offering one free month as an incentive to induce purchases. Also, 60-day subscriptions are being offered for $4.95.


Access to WSJ.com includes all content from The Wall Street Journal, international editions and Barron's Online as well as exclusive content from WSJ.com's 80 journalists.


This is the second time WSJ Online has experimented with a point-of-purchase program. After a two-month, 16-state test sold hundreds of subscriptions in Staples Inc. stores last fall, WSJ.com introduced the package in all Staples stores during the holiday season.


"The idea in simple terms was that Staples was successful, so let's try to replicate it elsewhere," Kilgore said.


Wall Street Journal Online did no testing at Barnes & Noble stores, but it is confident that the package will have the same success as its Staples program.


WSJ.com has seen its fastest growth rate this year. Kilgore said 125,000 subscribers joined by the end of the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. WSJ.com now has more than 500,000 paid subscribers.

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