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REAL ESTATE–REIT Hopes to Aid Shop Owners With Online Service

Pan Pacific Retail Properties Inc. of Vista has created an Internet alliance designed to benefit its tenants and boost the cash flow from its 58 strip shopping centers, the company’s president said.

Pan Pacific teamed up with Eversave.com of Woburn, Mass., by buying 5 percent of its stock for slightly more than $800,000, said Stuart Tanz, president of Pan Pacific.

The plan now is to start installing the Web portal systems that will enable consumers living near the company’s strip shopping centers to conduct business over the Internet with Pan Pacific’s retail tenants.

“A retailer can advertise promotions and offer coupons for one day or several days on the site,” Tanz said Feb. 9. “You can really focus on your customer base through the Internet with this system.”

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Retail tenants who subscribe to Eversave.com will pay between $150 and $300 per year depending upon the amount of use, he said.

In a couple of weeks, the system will be initiated at Pan Pacific’s nine Portland, Ore.-area properties. By the third quarter, Melrose Village Plaza in Vista, which is the company’s only local shopping center, will get the system.

Already there are plans by Eversave.com to sell the service to other strip shopping center owners and their tenants. Close to 30,000 strip shopping centers are in operation in the United States, Tanz said.

“Our core reason for existing is to get people back into stores,” said Jerry Doyle, president and CEO of Eversave.com. “Now, consumers looking for information on what’s going on in their local shopping area can find out over the Internet.”

One stock analyst who follows Pan Pacific, James W. Sullivan of Prudential Securities in New York, foresees more revenue for the REIT as chain-store tenants pay more rent as their sales increase due to use of Eversave.com. Retail property is frequently leased with a percentage clause that allows the property owner to benefit as a tenant’s sales increase, he said.

“The alliance demonstrates that Pan Pacific hasn’t been ignoring the Internet,” Sullivan said. “This type of service will help the retail REITs overcome the perception by the stock market that they are obsolete.”

The strip shopping center industry has been experiencing strong revenue growth over the last two quarters as well, Sullivan said.

“They are benefiting from a strong economy and are not seeing any signs of losing business to Internet retailers,” Sullivan said. “I think that what we’ve seen after this Christmas shopping season is obvious skepticism about the sustainability of sales growth for some of these retail Internet companies.”

The Eversave.com concept is built around four strategies, Doyle said. First, the company provides consumers with a fast way to find both in-store and online bargains. Before they leave their house to go shopping, they can log on to the Eversave.com Web page, customized to their specific shopping preferences, and immediately access E-coupons.

Second, through the company’s product and price finding system, consumers can comparison shop from their home or office and send E-mail to the local retailers with questions about products and services.

Third, Eversave.com acts as a targeted marketing vehicle for neighborhood retailers by utilizing the company’s local consumer database.

Fourth, Eversave.com’s consumer members can obtain additional savings by using their membership card at participating neighborhood stores, Doyle said.

In the fourth quarter of 1999, Eversave.com formed a strategic alliance with TransWestern Publishing of San Diego, a telephone book publisher serving more than 12 million households and businesses in 16 states.

Along with its traditional book display advertising, TransWestern has started offering its listed businesses Eversave.com’s local direct advertising platform, Doyle said.

For the next month, those interested can view the Web site without registering by logging on to (www.Eversave.com), Doyle said.


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