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barnesandnoble.com, Dot-Coms Ink Pacts

In a move to expand its affiliate marketing reach with larger sites and reduce customer acquisition costs, bookseller Barnes & Noble.com signed reciprocal marketing pacts with seven name-brand e-commerce companies.

The company's new partners are 1-800-FLOWERS.com (FLWS), Expedia.com (EXPE), jcrew.com, L.L. Bean, PETsMART.com Inc. (PETM), PlanetRx.com (PLRX) and VitaminShoppe.com Inc. (VSHP)

Extensive online and off-line marketing efforts with the participating companies are planned, said B&N. Follow-up sales will be pitched; when customers complete shopping transactions on a program participants' site, they will find links to barnesandnoble.com (BNBN). In return, when barnesandnoble.com customers complete their transactions, they will see links to the partner sites.

Other joint marketing initiatives are planned that will reward customers with special offers. Financial arrangements were not disclosed but presumably include some form of revenue sharing.

"This program exemplifies our commitment to reduce our cost of acquiring customers," said Carl Rosendorf senior vice president, barnesandnoble.com.

"By working with these seven companies, barnesandnoble.com gains access to millions of online buyers without any marketing investment, due to the reciprocal nature of the agreements."

Launched in May 1997, barnesandnoble.com, which, focused largely on the sale of books, music, software, magazines, prints, posters and related products, says it has four million customers and competes head-on with Amazon.com (AMZN).