COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 9, 1997--Officials of The Rouse Company Thursday announced that the company has entered into an agreement with Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash. and Smart AIM Corp. of Goodrich, Mich., to create new retail marketing and shopping opportunities through the use of computer technology.
Exclusively utilizing Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 along with other Microsoft software and Smart AIM's interactive multi-media kiosks, customers at The Rouse Company's retail centers will soon be able to obtain free Internet access as well as information that will enhance their shopping experience.
This "Smart Shopper Explorer" service will deliver information on new products, events, special offers and other community activities, much of it tailored to shoppers' individual areas of interest. Shoppers will also be able to order products from electronic catalogs and to receive the merchandise by delivery from local mall stores.
"This is a unique opportunity," said Anthony W. Deering, chairman and chief executive officer of The Rouse Company.
"Electronic commerce is clearly becoming more and more important, and this effort provides an avenue to capitalize on the extensive distribution channel our retail centers offer. We are tremendously excited about the prospects for this alliance with Microsoft and Smart AIM."
The initial installations are planned for 11 of The Rouse Company's retail centers -- Augusta Mall in Augusta, Ga.; Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J.; Hulen Mall in Ft. Worth, Texas; Paramus Park in Paramus, N.J.; The Mall in Columbia in Columbia, Md.; Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, Calif.; Staten Island Mall in New Yrok City; Westlake Center in Seattle, Wash.; White Marsh and Owings Mills, both in Baltimore, Md.; and Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, N.J..
It is expected the company's remaining 48 centers will be launched in 1998.
"Smart AIM's shopping pavilions use a combination of CD-ROM technology and the Internet to provide a fast and easy-to-use shopping environment," said Robert J. Van Duren, president of Smart AIM Corp., a privately held company.
"The system is ideal for shoppers because it provides instant gratification in the form of immediate product presentation. When the product is ordered, it can be delivered to the home or the office in as little as 30 minutes."
The Smart AIM solution takes full advantages of the Microsoft(R) BackOffice(TM) family of products. The pavilions utilize other Microsoft technologies such as Windows NT Server, Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) and Microsoft(R) NetShow among others. The solutions also use Microsoft software for chat support and video streaming.
"It is wonderful to see Microsoft technologies being used in a variety of ways," said Todd Weatherby, group marketing manager for retail and distribution at Microsoft Corp.
"Smart AIM's pavilions are an excellent example of how Microsoft(R) Windows NT and BackOffice platform provide a retail line-of-business solution that scales across a variety of hardware and software platforms and brings tomorrow's electronic commerce capability into today's traditional retail environment."
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
The Rouse Company -- a public company for 40 years (NYSE:"RSE") -- was founded more than 58 years ago operates more than 250 properties encompassing office, retail, research and development, industrial and hotel space. The Rouse Company manages properties in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Canada and is the developer of the cities of Columbia, Md. and Summerlin, Nev.
CONTACT: The Rouse Company
David L. Tripp, 410/992-6546