January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Sears, AOL Set Marketing Deal

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Sears, Roebuck and Co. and America Online unveiled a marketing alliance aimed at attracting Sears customers to the Internet, while pitching Sears merchandise and services to AOL subscribers. The companies did not disclose financial terms.

Under the pact, AOL will begin marketing its products and services to Sears customers in 858 full-line stores nationwide. The two also plan to sell a co-branded edition of AOL with links to the Sears Web site, including one offering real-time access to Sears customer service. Along with reciprocal access to AOL subscribers, Sears will accept payment for AOL service through its credit cards.

The alliance also includes plans to market and sell broadband access as the technology develops, as well Internet-enabled devices. The companies say they'll develop new broadband home improvement content as well as broadband installation and service. Last week Sears announced a partnership with Bob Vila to launch an online venture for home improvement ideas, called BobVila.com

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