NEW YORK (AP) -- Sears, Roebuck & Co. is teaming up with America Online in a wide-ranging alliance that includes everything from marketing each other's services to developing Internet-linked appliances for the home.
Under the deal announced today, Sears, the nation's second-biggest retailer behind Wal-Mart, will promote AOL in its 858 large department stores. AOL, in turn, will feature Sears on its Web sites and market the giant retail chain to its more than 21 million subscribers.
AOL will be Sears' preferred Internet service provider. The companies also plan to develop a special edition of AOL that will offer special Sears promotions and links to Sears' Web sites.
The companies also plan to develop a version of AOL Instant Messenger to enable consumers to have real-time chats with Sears' customer service representatives as well as with family and friends.
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