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Cybermall sells exposure, not products

In another example of the marketing furor fostered by the idea of electronic commerce, a new cybermall opened today on the Web, but its promoters admit that stores don't expect to sell anything.

In another example of the marketing furor fostered by the idea of electronic commerce, a new two-story 3D cyberspace mall opened its doors today on the Web, but its promoters admit that its stores don't actually expect to sell anything, at least not online.

Instead, the purpose is to promote and market upscale shops. InterWeb's cyberspace mall is designed for the high-end consumer market, said Paul Lange, InterWeb's liaison manager.

"We're aiming the mall at Giorgio Armani shoppers," said Lange. "The client is trying to promote and enhance their corporate image. I don't think they are really looking to sell the product [on the Internet]."

The mall is designed to hold 72 stores and is "renting" space for $5,000 a year. The rental price includes a storefront in the virtual mall and a three-page Web site.

So far, shoppers can visit the New York-based All Hip Pro Camera Shop and the tourist bureaus for the Government of Western Samoa. Lange said the mall should be fully occupied by the end of the year.