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Musicland hums Net commerce tune

Shares of Musicland surge higher in early trading after it announces plans to open several e-commerce sites late in the second quarter of 1999.

Brick-and-mortar music retailer Musicland Stores today began humming that increasingly popular Internet commerce tune.

Shares of the company surged higher in early trading after it announced plans to open several e-commerce sites late in the second quarter of 1999.

Initially, the sites will offer a full line of music, VHS video, and DVDs complemented by selected licensed apparel, portable electronics, accessories, trend merchandise, sheet music and music books, entertainment books, video games, and entertainment software.

The company said it hopes that its retail presence in the music and video sector will help establish its Web sites. Musicland currently operates 1,346 retail stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the United Kingdom under the names Sam Goody/Musicland, Suncoast Motion Picture, Media Play, and On Cue.

Musicland operates a distribution center in Franklin, Indiana, and plans to ship most e-commerce orders directly, trying to avoid third-party fulfillment costs.

The company has already signed agreements with outside parties to supply music and video databases for product information, reviews, and samplings, as well as to develop the infrastructure for the e-commerce sites.

Shares of Musicland soared 19.31 percent to 15.06, and have traded as high as 18 and as low as 6.88 during the past 52 weeks.

Retailers have been jumping on the Internet commerce bandwagon in growing numbers, including the recent grand opening of Victoria's Secret, which sells intimate clothing and bath products, and Cumetrix Data Systems, which plans to sell computer products.