December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

A contender in price and selection, sweeps the content category

(Page 2 of 2)

Reel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hollywood Entertainment Corp., which also owns the Hollywood Video store chain. In early December 1999, Reel filed with the SEC to lay the groundwork for its IPO. That impending influx of capital should give the site enough cash to plot its future. The cash infusion also will help Reel fend off rivals, both sites that only sell movies, such as Blockbuster and BigStar and department stores, such as Wal-Mart and Kmart.

- Time to load home page: 35 seconds (56K connection)

- Time to move between pages: 35 seconds (56K connection

- Total clicks to merchandise: 2

- Notable site features: Extensive reviews, news and content galore for movie buffs and extensive selection.

- Ease of contacting company: It takes a few steps to connect. Click on “About Reel” (tucked away on the bottom of the side navigation bar on the home page), and then “contact,” which takes you to a page with an e-mail form, a telephone number, and a link to a 24-7 live chat room with a Reel eRep. Or clicking on “help desk “ on the top navigation bar of the home page brings up a “contact us” option.

- Ease of ordering and paying for merchandise: Fast and simple, once you register. Signing up for ”express shopping” makes it even speedier.

- Are privacy/payment policies clearly posted and explained?: Clicking on Five-Point Guarantee on the home page takes you to a page that lays out Reel’s policies on security and privacy, price, quality, selection and service. That same information is available under help desk.

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