Reel.com Gives Visa Top Billing

Internet-based video store Reel.com announced a strategic partnership this week with Visa U.S.A. In fact, this announcement represents one of many e-commerce partnerships that the credit-card giant is making with online merchants.

Already, 51% of online purchases are made using Visa cards for payment. And now, as Visa continues its grab for e-market share, online buyers and sellers can reap the rewards.

As part of this new agreement, Reel.com will design promotional offers exclusively for Visa cardholders, such as discount coupons and free videos. These offers will be distributed to consumers through Visa’s network of 21,000 member banks, which serve 600 million Visa cardholders worldwide.

Such extensive exposure is sure to help Reel.com gain extensive name recognition.

In exchange, Visa is now branded as the “preferred card of Reel.com” on each page of the movie store’s Web site. Visa also shows up as the default payment card on Reel.com’s checkout page, though a buyer can easily point and click to use a different credit card.

And yes, they still take… American Express.

Julie Wainwright, CEO of Reel.com, says she looks forward to winning over millions of Visa cardholders once they experience the site’s large selection, expert information, and low prices.

BEYOND THE NEWS

Other Visa Online Shopping Partners

In addition to Reel.com, Visa also features these sites as their Online Shopping Partners:

1-800 Flowers AutoWeb eToys FashionMall FogDog Sports Hickory Farms Music Boulevard 911 Gifts Omaha Steaks Onsale Travelocity Most, but not all of these sites feature Visa prominently on their home page. “Reel” Facts and Figures

Reel.com is a subsidiary of Hollywood Entertainment, Corp. (Nasdaq:HLYW), better known as Hollywood Video. As the second largest chain of video stores in the U.S., Hollywood Video operates more than 1,100 stores in 42 states.

When it comes to the Internet, Reel.com is the #1 video seller, with more than 100,000 VHS titles for sale online. That’s ten times more than the average Hollywood Video superstore across town.

Reel.com’s current Internet partners include Excite, @Home Network, Chicago Sun Times, E! Online, Film.com, Turner Home Entertainment, TV Guide Entertainment Network, and Yahoo!

Reel.com, Inc. was founded in September 1996, by Stuart Skorman, former owner of Empire Video Superstores. The idea for Reel.com’s online movie information and matching service grew out of this New England-based chain, which was known for its innovative “movie matchmaking” services. Skorman sold the Empire Video chain to Blockbuster Video in 1994. He then launched the Reel.com Web site in January 1997, with the help of with several other video store veterans and film experts.

The business is based in Emeryville, California, with a full-time staff of 90, plus a network of 40 freelance movie reviewers, writing original content for the site.

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