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Kmart, Softbank Launch Bluelight.com

Kmart Corp. and SOFTBANK Venture Capital Wednesday formally launched BlueLight.com, an e-commerce company with free Net access and the opportunity for Kmart consumers to purchase products and services online.

Kmart will be the majority shareholder, with an approximate 60 percent ownership of BlueLight.com, while top venture capital firm SOFTBANK Venture Capital, will have a $62.5 million stake.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO), one of Kmart's retail partners, will make an unspecified strategic investment in BlueLight.com as well.

Through relationships with SOFTBANK Corp., Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Spinway.com and Cisco Systems (CSCO), BlueLight.com will immediately offer consumers free Internet access.

Content and other features will also be available through a partnership with Yahoo!.

BlueLight.com also will feature products and special promotions from Kmart on an introductory basis, with the assortment and Web store functionality expanding throughout next year.

A team of experienced Internet retail executives will head BlueLight.com. Mark H. Goldstein, who previously founded Impulse! Buy Network, NetAngels and Reality Online, has been named BlueLight.com's president and chief executive officer. The BlueLight.com executive team also will include: Brian Sugar, who will be the chief Web officer, formerly in charge of all e-commerce activities at J.Crew, and Fran Maier, who will be the vice president of marketing, joining BlueLight.com from Women.com where she was senior vice pesident of marketing.

"We are excited by the prospects of expanding our Internet presence. BlueLight.com will enable us to reach more consumers everywhere, providing them with almost instant access to our ever-growing selection of extremely high quality, beautifully designed goods and products for home, garden and kitchen at 'everyday prices,'" said Martha Stewart, chairman and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.