New ShopLocal.com Allows Shoppers to Research Local Specials and Sales

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CrossMedia Services, Inc. today announced the launch of ShopLocal, an online resource that allows shoppers to research local specials and sale items at stores close to home.

ShopLocal consists of a national website, http://www.ShopLocal.com and a nationwide network of co-branded ShopLocal websites, initially including more than 140 Gannett Co., Inc., Knight Ridder, Inc. and Tribune Company websites.

“ShopLocal.com and the ShopLocal network is the online resource for the millions of shoppers who use the Internet to gather information online but prefer to buy at a local store,” said Brian Hand, CrossMedia chief executive officer. “For retailers, ShopLocal is an extremely efficient way to reach local shoppers with targeted sales promotions.”

ShopLocal uses a zip-code search engine that allows users to find stores within a specific radius. Shoppers can search by product category, store or brand name. The site is updated daily to reflect current sales. It also allows consumers to create personal shopping lists online that they can print and bring to stores. In addition, consumers can set up e-mail sale alerts for key items and stores.

ShopLocal fills a gap that reflects a disconnect in how the Internet is used today: online purchases represent less than 5 percent of retail transactions,while the Internet influences more than $130 billion in consumer spending at stores. And with every $1 spent online, consumers are influenced by the web to spend another $6 offline.

“By offering online research for offline shopping, ShopLocal shortens the distance between consumers and retailers. Consumers now have a single source for up-to-date information before they go shopping. They will no longer need to go to separate Web sites for all the stores they want to visit,” said Hand.

Consumers have told ShopLocal that it’s important to them to find the best deal for everyday items like milk and diapers as well as big-ticket purchases like flat-screen televisions and appliances. Data from CrossMedia Services’ other web-to-store services shows that three out of four consumers who see a retailer’s promotion online go into a store to buy as a result of seeing that promotion.

“Retailers will reach — and pay for — only interested buyers,” said Hand. “Since ShopLocal is based on the same material retailers already use for sales circulars, catalogs, run-of-press ads and direct mail, we make it easy for them to take advantage of this audience.”

At launch, ShopLocal.com and the ShopLocal network will feature dozens of the nation’s leading retailers, including mass merchants, home improvement retailers, office products superstores, electronics retailers, home dicor stores, and department stores, as well as local grocery stores.”We will add retailers on a regular basis. In addition, over the coming months, we expect to announce additional network partners such as portals, online directories, and other newspaper publishers,” said Hand.

ShopLocal enables Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune to provide a new online shopping channel that promotes local sales and deals; deliver more value to local, regional and national retailers through online promotions of sales, product offerings and other store promotions; and provide consumers another valuable, local resource for “what’s on sale?” and other great values.

Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune acquired CrossMedia Services in May 2004 to extend their online retail solutions. The three media companies have partnered in other joint ventures to create CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com and Apartments.com.

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New ShopLocal.com Allows Shoppers to Research Local Specials and Sales
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