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Tech Industry

CheckOut.com opens virtual doors

The online entertainment company says it will enter into a comarketing agreement with grocery chain Ralphs.

CheckOut.com, the Internet venture run by Hollywood power-broker Michael Ovitz and former Yucaipa Companies partner Richard Wolpert, quietly opened its doors last night.

Along with the unveiling, the company announced it will enter into a comarketing agreement with Ralphs, a grocery chain owned by Yucaipa. Ralphs will promote CheckOut.com via its mail circulars, and eventually extend the promotion into its stores.

Company executives touted the deal as a step toward bringing online promotion into the offline world. "The strategic alliance with Ralphs affords CheckOut.com an advantage over other e-commerce sites to gain traffic and market share," Ovitz said in a statement.

The unveiling comes over two months after the company announced Ovitz would team up with Yucaipa Companies partner Richard Wolpert to launch the site. Both executives had stints at Walt Disney Company where Ovitz was president and Wolpert served as president of Disney Online.

Wolpert left Disney last year and landed at Yucaipa to help company founder Ron Burkle create CheckOut.com.

Focusing on entertainment, CheckOut.com combines editorial reviews and consumer reports with a retail store. Users can read film or music reviews, then purchase the accompanying videos or CDs.