No Lines, No Crowds at the ‘Shopping Mall In A Box’ 7-Eleven(R)...

No Lines, No Crowds at the ‘Shopping Mall In A Box’ 7-Eleven(R) Launches E-Commerce Shopping Services at Its 1,000 VCOM(R) Kiosks

1-800-FLOWERS.COM(R) Among E-Commerce Merchants


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DALLAS, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–December 11, 2003–What’s on your holiday shopping list? Whether it’s CDs for the kids, jewelry or flowers for mom, or a round of golf for dad, you don’t have to fight the crowds at the mall to buy the perfect gift. In fact, you don’t need to go farther than a 7-Eleven(R) store, where the Vcom(R) kiosk has become a virtual “shopping mall in a box” with hundreds of gift-giving options for smart Santas.

Just in time to ease the hassles of holiday shopping, customers at close to 1,000 selected 7-Eleven stores across the country can now use Vcom to shop for selected products 24 hours a day from e-retailers including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM(R), FreeJewelry.biz, eBags.com, TopWebBuys.com, and U.S. Health Services and pay for their purchases with cash or by credit card.

Shopping is the latest service added to Vcom, which stands for “virtual commerce” and is unique in the world of kiosks because of the variety of offerings and payment options on a single device. The kiosk’s bunch-note acceptor can handle up to 30 bills inserted at one time and dispense exact change.

As 7-Eleven’s e-commerce, advertising and technology partner, Cyphermint, Inc. recruits e-retailers for Vcom. It’s patented Pay Cash(TM) system allows people to pay cash for their Vcom purchases, making the kiosk a convenient shopping alternative for customers who do not have access to the Internet, a credit card or don’t want to use their credit card for e-commerce purchases.

The virtual shopping mall experience begins with the customer choosing a product category such as flowers, books, gifts, music or electronics, from the touch-screen menu featuring a Shopping Mall button. The participating merchant’s screen then displays a selection of products, descriptions and a sales price, including special offers available only through Vcom. Customers will now have access to the merchant’s most popular online offerings.

The customer can see additional detail on any item offered, add to a shopping cart and proceed to check out. There is a $1 service fee for each transaction. Some merchants are offering next-day shipping or free shipping, while regular shipping will take three to five business days via UPS ground or U.S. Postal Service.

In addition to e-shopping, Vcom customers can conduct ATM transactions (American Express provides the ATM service on most Vcom machines), cash checks through Certegy Check Services(SM), and purchase Western Union money orders and conduct money transfers. Verizon customers can view and pay their residential phone bills, order calling features and request repair service through the kiosk. Bill payment services provided by e-Money Systems and car and motorcycle insurance coverage through Public Access Insurance are expected to be added to Vcom in the future.

“We now have the variety of offerings we always envisioned for Vcom,” says Brady Giddens, 7-Eleven, Inc.’s managing director for Vcom. “It is our intent that customers can shop for products and services they want, but which are not available in our stores. Thanks to Vcom, we have a mini shopping mall inside our stores.”

“We have had enormous success in attracting established e-retailers with broad selection of products for Vcom,” says Joe Barboza, CEO of Cyphermint, Inc. “We are pleased with the partnership we’ve established with 7-Eleven and, in particular, the successful integration of our patented Pay Cash System(TM) to Vcom. Customers can expect more well-known brands to offer products and services through Vcom in the near future.”

Some of the top e-retailers that have partnered with Cyphermint to sell products and services on Vcom are:

–1-800-FLOWERS.COM(R) – With one of the most recognized brands in gift retailing, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM(R) provides a broad range of floral arrangements – including flowers, plants, and bouquets. Currently there are 12 arrangements to choose from, ranging from a dozen red roses to a holiday bouquet. In the future, there are plans to sell gourmet foods, candies, gift baskets and other unique gifts on Vcom.

–eBags.com – The world’s largest online retailer of bags and accessories for all lifestyles will offer some two dozen popular products on Vcom and feature premium and popular brands such as Samsonite, JansSport, The North Face and Liz Claiborne. With competitive prices, consumers will choose from backpacks, messenger and carry-on bags to computer cases and handbags.

–FreeJewelry.biz — This American-owned jewelry company is offering free fine Italian jewelry, 14K-gold jewelry as well as genuine pearl jewelry on Vcom. Customers pay a shipping and handling charge for each item ordered among the wide selection of products ranging from rings to pendants.

–TopWebBuys.com – Run by parent company Infopia inc., this category will offer the top-selling books and video games.

–U.S. Health Services (USHS) — This national, “to-your-home” consumer pharmacy for prescriptions, vitamins, supplements and nutraceuticals offers numerous health-related products, such as the popular Atkins diet program foods, on the Vcom kiosk. Product categories will include bone and joint; lifestyle; vitamins, minerals and herbs; diet and body building; Atkins, and EAS.

–Universal Tickets, Inc. – For tickets to more than 1,800 golf courses and 200 ski mountains, customers can press the Gift Card Category on the Vcom Internet Shopping screen. Select a tee time and choose the Universal Golf Ticket Gift Card at $49.95, the SwingPack (includes six Nike golf balls) for $59.95 or a half-hour golf lesson good at one of 500 participating facilities for $49.95.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7?Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises close to 5,800 7-Eleven(R) stores in the United States and Canada and licenses approximately 19,700 7-Eleven(R) stores in 16 other countries and U.S. territories throughout the world. During 2002, 7-Eleven(R) stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $33 billion. Find out more online at http://www.7-Eleven.com.

About Cyphermint, Inc.

Cyphermint, a privately owned corporation headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, develops electronic payment software and scalable kiosk-based systems. Cyphermint’s Pay Cash System(TM) is the most secure payment system on the Internet today. Through a unique combination of public kiosks, stored value cards and the Pay Cash payment system, Cyphermint brings a range of financial services and electronic commerce to consumers, regardless of whether they have a bank account or a credit card. Find out more at http://www.cyphermint.com.

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CONTACT:

7-Eleven, Inc

Margaret Chabris

214-828-7345

mchabri@7-11.com

or

Cyphermint, Inc.

St. Jones(R)

508-787-4835

No Lines, No Crowds at the ‘Shopping Mall In A Box’ 7-Eleven(R) Launches E-Commerce Shopping Services at Its 1,000 VCOM(R) Kiosks