AOL Matches Amazon With Home Improvement Alliance

In a direct reply to Amazon.com’s launch of a home-improvement section earlier this month, America Online and HomeWarehouse.com announced an agreement Wednesday that will put home-improvement products and expert information on AOL’s shopping sites.

HomeWarehouse.com will appear as major tenant in AOL’s Home Improvement and Home Appliances areas at [email protected], AOL.com, CompuServe and Netscape.

The one-year agreement will give AOL and CompuServe members, as well as those visiting Netscape and AOL.com, one-click access to HomeWarehouse.com home-improvement products. Members and visitors will also have access to HomeWarehouse.com’s free Home Pros information and advice.

“We’re happy to work with HomeWarehouse.com to bring our members their great selection of home-improvement tools and other hardware items,” said Myer Berlow, AOL’s president of interactive marketing. “We think our members and visitors will appreciate finding HomeWarehouse.com right at their fingertips.”

Amazon And AOL Crossing Paths

Although AOL began life as an Internet service provider (ISP) and Amazon.com’s roots are as an online bookstore, the two Internet giants now find themselves toe-to-toe, selling garden rakes and ball peen hammers.

Just last month, Amazon.com brought home-improvement catalog Tool Crib into its new Home Improvement shopping area. The section offers product information, although not to the extent of HomeWarehouse.com’s Home Pros advice, which uses in-office professionals.

The agreement is the latest move in AOL’s progressive entry into e-tailing. In preparation for the 1999 holiday shopping season, AOL has added a wide range of shopping areas and gift assistance technology to its portals for members and visitors.

AOL may benefit somewhat by adding HomeWarehouse.com during the holidays, but the move certainly puts AOL in a good position to reap sales during the spring 2000 home and garden season.

HomeWarehouse.com Gets Boost

For HomeWarehouse.com, the AOL deal is a boost in its strategy to establish itself as a leading bookmark for home-improvement do-it-yourselfers on the Internet.

“The agreement with AOL is a significant step forward in establishing HomeWarehouse.com as a leading and trusted Internet brand for home improvement products and information,” said Rich Shame, founder and president of HomeWarehouse.com.

Based in San Mateo, California, HomeWarehouse.com stocks tens of thousands of home-improvement tools, hardware, fixtures and other products.

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