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ST701 and comGateway Launches Online Spree Shopping

Singapore, 17 April 2008 - ST701 (www.st701.com) and comGateway has developed a spree service. The ST701 spree service will be launched on April 18, 2008 at http://shops.st701.com/spree.

Now rapidly gaining popularity among those accustomed to shopping over the Internet, online spreeing is a collective shopping method in which groups of consumers come together to make bulk purchases from similar merchants.

The idea of spree is especially attractive to those who are buying relatively cheap items such as T-shirts, vitamins, small leather goods and others. By combining their purchases, the base handling and shipping charge is shared, thus lowering the cost per item.

Usually, people will band together informally through online forums or some other social networking platforms, then form spree groups. These groups are co-ordinated by leaders, commonly referred to as spree organisers, who collect money, then place orders on behalf of their respective groups. When the merchandise arrives, spree shoppers will usually arrange to congregate at a common location to re-distribute their goods.

By entering into collaboration with comGateway, ST701 aims to raise the bar for online spree. One of the main selling points of the spree service is that it furnishes a secure, one-stop platform for shoppers. No longer would people need to exchange sensitive personal information such as bank account numbers to transfer money, nor would they need to travel to some prearranged location to collect their merchandise.

Having established partnerships with reputable banks and credit card companies, comGateway furnishes a secure payment gateway through which users can effect online payments. In addition, with a sound logistics setup and a sprawling inventory of online stores which affords users a generous spread of choices, the spree service not only lets shoppers initiate and conclude all their spree transactions online, but also accords users´ the convenience of having orders delivered right to their doorstep.

“One of the main premises behind the Internet is that it should allow users to accomplish a great deal at one single interface point, be that a home desktop or portable laptop,” said Elsie Chua, Executive Vice President, CATS Classified, Marketing Division. “The same principle applies to online spree as well,” she continued. “We have thus aggregated a wide range of options and functions to allow users to ‘shop at a click of the finger´.”

For a start, the ST701-comGateway spree service allows shoppers in Singapore to buy from the USA. Over 60% of US merchants do not accept foreign credit cards, and the majority do not ship outside the country. In this regard, consumers in Singapore might find it difficult to purchase goods directly from there. By setting up its own US-based collection and delivery service, comGateway is able to make purchases on behalf of Singapore customers, and then ship the merchandise out of the United States.

“The USA is the leader in Internet shopping, and by tapping upon its diverse range of online merchants, we hope to offer consumers abundant variety, the latest products and best prices,” said Danny Lim, comGateway´s founder and executive chairman. “Our long term plan, however, is to enhance the scope of the service to allow users to shop from anywhere and ship to any location worldwide.”

ST701, an e-marketplace by CATS Classified, is set up to become a one-stop hub for people to purchase and procure a broad selection of products and services ranging from property and cars to everyday household items and domestic services.

Setting up a spree service represents the next logical step in the evolution of ST701, said Ms Chua. “There are many product lines in the USA that are not available locally,” she said. “Yet we know that there are consumers who are keen on brands like Target, Old Navy, Victoria´s Secret and others. Empowering our customers with more choices has always been one of our main preoccupations, so developing an online spree service is thus a natural step forward.”

ST701 is the first online classifieds which offers spree service to its customers. Ms Chua is confident that with the introduction of spree shopping to ST701, user experience on the site will be further enhanced.

Contact  
Elsie Chua
Executive Vice President, CATS Classified, Marketing Division
Office no.: 6319 5918
Email: elsie@sph.com.sg
Danny Lim
Founder and Executive Chairman, comGateway
Office no.: 6829 8988
Email: danny.lim@comgateway.com
Wong Wei Chen
Communications Manager, ST701
Office no.: 6319 8919
Email: weichen@sph.com.sg
Mobile: 9220 3780
Barbra Gan
Marketing Director, comGateway
Office no.: 6829 8970
Email: barbra.gan@comgateway.com

About ST701

First launched on March 24, 2006 as a job portal, ST701 carries the initials of The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings’ flagship newspaper and Singapore´s national English broadsheet. The numbers “701” convey what the user will experience: 7 days a week search at the 01 place that matters.

Over the course of one and a half years, ST701 expanded its scope to include motoring, property and general classifieds. Now, ST701 comprises four verticals, namely: ST701 Jobs; ST701 Cars; ST701 Property; and ST701 Shops. Collectively, the four verticals span the full range of classified advertisements, and ST701 is now CATS Classified´s e-marketplace on the Internet.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 110 million pageviews with 7 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 per cent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.
 

About comGateway
Launched in mid 2005 with DBS Master Card, comGateway(CG) is the brainchild of its Founder and Executive Chairman, Danny Lim. CG provides a full suite of online shopping services including order processing & fulfillment, secured online payment, and an economical and reliable delivery service.

CG facilitates online shopping between Asia-Pacific and the US. To establish trust and credibility, CG collaborates with leading banks and credit card companies including VISA, Master Card and American Express. To date, CG has been able to address many online shopping constraints and restrictions. It has put in place a 2-Factor Authentication System, US Home Delivery Service and Concierge Service, Standard and Express Delivery Services to meet the requirements of users, merchants and business partners.