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Yahoo!Xtra & Hubsta announce new shopping channel

Media Release

Yahoo!Xtra and Hubsta announce new shopping channel

AUCKLAND, 10 August 2009

Yahoo!Xtra and Hubsta today announced a partnership to create a new shopping channel which will be integrated into the Yahoo!Xtra portal.

Shopping remains a key use of the internet. In the UK a recent survey* found that 36% of respondents planned to spend more online than in the high street and that online shopping would grow 14% in 2009 despite current economic conditions in the UK. In New Zealand, Nielsen Online Retail Monitor reported online shoppers increased to 45% of the all 18+ NZ population in Q4 2008**.

Yahoo!Xtra CEO, Kevin Bowler, says this research suggests that now is a perfect time to introduce a quality online shopping experience to the Yahoo!Xtra audience.

"New Zealanders are ready and waiting to embrace online shopping more fully, but right now no-one in New Zealand is providing a satisfying online shopping experience. We intend to change that. We've partnered with Hubsta because it offers an unparalleled number of brands and products, including numerous brands not available online before – and great price advantages for consumers."

Chintaka Ranatunga, Hubsta's COO, says Hubsta focuses on bringing together three key elements of online shopping: price, selection and convenience.

"We're committed to providing New Zealanders with an online shopping experience of international standard, and partnering with Yahoo!Xtra will enable us to do just that. Yahoo!Xtra is New Zealand’s biggest portal with over 2.5M unique New Zealand users per month***, and has been growing its local audience by more than 20% year-on-year. So we can instantly offer our shopping experience to an extremely wide New Zealand audience."

Hubsta is an operating subsidiary of The Deal. Ranatunga says Hubsta's team has built a powerful back-end system, and put in place agreements with manufacturers and distributors that will enable Hubsta to provide New Zealand consumers with a catalogue of thousands of well-known brands and products.

"We realised from the outset that ensuring a wide product selection and highly competitive pricing was the key to providing a satisfying shopping experience, so we concentrated on getting that done before anything else," he says. "Experience and relationships gained through running The Deal have helped a lot with this."

Site construction is currently underway with a view to having the shopping channel launched in plenty of time for customers to use the site for their 2009 Christmas shopping.

"We'll be launching with a fanfare, and there'll be some fantastic bargains to be had," says Bowler, "so stay tuned for the opening announcements, and this year you can look forward to doing your Xmas shopping from home without battling the crowds."

*Newmediaage; Online shopping habits in recession revealed (July 2009)

**Marketing Association Website: Mar 2009 - Online Shopping Hits Record Levels: Nielsen Online.

*** Nielsen MI, June 20

About Hubsta

Hubsta, an operating subsidiary of The Deal, is an online product distribution business representing a wide range of leading NZ and global brands and making their products available for online purchase. First and foremost, Hubsta is a consumer advocate, firmly committed to providing online consumers with three critical values: price, selection and convenience.

About Yahoo!Xtra

Yahoo!Xtra is a joint venture between Telecom New Zealand and Yahoo!7 and connects New Zealanders to their passions, communities and the world's knowledge online. New Zealanders are able to benefit from an enhanced range of online services in a localised way including news, sport, entertainment and global best inbreed content, social networking and interactive tools.

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