Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report seems to be doing what it can to keep the notion alive that bricks-and-mortar companies will have trouble adapting to the Internet. As a result, gains in online retailers were leading TheStreet.com Internet Sector index toward the 700 level. It recently was up 30.96, or 4.6%, at 698.98.
Wal-Mart said its revamped Web site will not be launched until early next year after the crucial holiday season. While Wal-Mart does currently have a Web site, the new one is expected to be more inclusive, featuring more than 600,000 items, a travel service and a photo center. Wal-Mart did say that its current site will have an increased selection of toys, electronics, books and holiday decorative items.
News of the new site's delay wasn't anticipated. A story that ran in
The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 1 quoted a Wal-Mart spokeswoman who said the redesigned site would be unveiled "sometime later this year."
Sara Zeilstra, associate director with
Warburg Dillon Read
that she expected the online retailers to do well this holiday season with or without competition from Wal-Mart. And while the news did create a trading opportunity in the online retailers, Wal-Mart will eventually have an online presence.
"It's important to get there early and get there first, but the most important thing is to do it well," said Zeilstra. She mentioned that when companies like
Toys R Us
Barnes & Noble
originally launched their Web sites, they were not done well and the companies suffered. But she said the bricks-and-mortar companies have been successful because they have been successful in serving customers and therefore still have potential "to be significant competition."
In recent trading,
was up 4 1/4, or 5%, at 82 11/16;
was up 8 13/16, or 13%, at 77 7/16;
was up 8 5/8, or 6%, at 149 13/16; and
was up 3 11/16, or 13%, at 32 9/16. Wal-Mart was up 1/4 at 51 1/2.
AOL Still Seeking Deal With @Home
In an interview with
Chief Executive Officer Steve Case,
reported that AOL continues to have a dialogue with
about an alliance, but so far has not been able to agree on what the deal would entail.
In recent trading, Excite@Home was up 3 5/16, or 8%, at 45 3/8, while AOL was up 4 1/4, or 4%, at 117 3/4.
In other news related to Excite@Home,
, head of Internet initiatives at
, has resigned. Hindery has been the most outspoken AT&T executive against Excite@Home's hybrid strategy of marrying content with high-speed Internet access.