Media Firm AIM Smart Offers Free Internet Accounts Through Malls
( Electronic Advertising & Marketplace Report )

Working in partnership with three mall developers and retailers, AIM 
Smart Corp. (Goodrich, MI) has launched a promotional program built 
on giving free Internet accounts to mall shoppers.

Through the partnership, AIM is offering a series of kiosks connected 
through a high-speed backbone. The "Smart Shopper Pavilions" are designed 
to let users search for products across all retailers. Mall stores 
pay $100 to display a 30-second video advertisement on the kiosk.

At the same time, mall shoppers are offered a CD-ROM that provides 
everything they need to log onto the Internet, including a customized 
version of the Internet Explorer browser called "Smart Shopper Explorer."
Shoppers can also be enrolled in The Rouse Co.'s Premier Shopper 
Club, which offers exclusives, discounts and special services.

AIM Smart is beginning the commercial launch of Smart Shopper Network 
through 28 retail centers owned and managed by affiliates of Columbia,
MD-based real estate investment trust The Rouse Co. The system has 
already been installed in 14 Rouse malls and should roll out to the 
others over the next few weeks.

While kiosks are still critical to AIM Smart's strategy, the Internet 
component of the program should reach out beyond loyal mall shoppers 
to busy consumers who aren't as likely to visit the mall often, executives 

"What we've done is move the point of service from the mall to the 
homes around the mall," said Garry Eberhardt, chief operating officer 
of AIM Smart. "We believe that e-commerce, using the local malls as 
a fulfillment center, is the best way to go."

While Eberhardt would not disclose what AIM Smart is charging for 
advertising on the Internet component, he told EAMR that, if shoppers 
spend an average of 1.5 hours per month online, the company will do 
well. AIM Smart can make $5 in advertising revenues for every dollar 
it spends providing Internet service, he said. For each of these sales 
channels, the real estate management firm and AIM Smart split revenues 
between them.

Theoretically, AIM Smart could ultimately end up supporting as many 
as 17.3 million Internet accounts-that's the number of people in the 
metropolitan areas served by the Rouse malls. That number could grow 
to much greater proportions if AIM Smart's additional agreements proceed 
as planned.

In addition to the Rouse deal, AIM Smart has agreements in place with 
The DeBartolo Group, which operates 240 malls, and WellsPark Group,
which operates 31 malls. AIM Smart expects to be available in 100 
to 125 malls by the end of 1998 and 550 malls by 2000.

Originally, the company intended to offer only the Smart Shopper kiosk 
network. But in the last two years, as AIM Smart researched the concept,
executives decided to add Internet connectivity to the mix. For about 
a year, AIM Smart tested out the Internet concept with the Laguna 
Hills Mall in California. More than 90% of the Laguna Hills stores 
advertised in the kiosk portion of the program, Eberhardt said.

Thanks Kinetic!

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