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 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The introduction of high- resolution graphic images on CompuServe's Electronic Mall has met with enthusiasm from both advertisers and shoppers. After a year of testing, CompuServe in August became the first online service to offer high resolution graphics as a complement to home shopping product descriptions. To date, nearly one-third of the Mall's 125 merchants have chosen to illustrate their products online.
 "Since CompuServe pioneered the concept of online shopping 10 years ago, the only real limitation has been the lack of visuals," said Keith Arnold, manager of The Electronic Mall. "Now we can give our advertisers the opportunity to displh?eir merchandise. We know that graphics have already had an impact on store traffic, because they bring members into the Mall -- people want to see what they're buying."
 Mall merchants who have taken advantage of the graphics capability include Buick, Fine Jewelry Outlet, Hammacher Schlemmer, JCPenney, Lands' End, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Sears.
 Graphics were officially launched at an August conference of Mall merchants. Advertisers can display their graphics either in a section of their individual stores or in special Mall promotional areas, such as the current Holiday Bazaar.
 CompuServe uses the Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) to create and display the images. To view the graphics online, CompuServe members need only to use the CompuServe Information Manager graphical interface, which is available for Macintosh, Windows and DOS platforms. The GIF images can also be downloaded and stored for later viewing.
 The availability of higher speed access to CompuServe is especially beneficial to members who view graphics online. At a speed of 14.4 kilobits per second (available to CompuServe members in 11 cities), the average GIF image appears in 20 to 30 seconds; large images still take less than a minute to appear.
 CompuServe's Arnold points out that the graphics technology and the Mall itself are still evolving.
 "We will be looking at other graphics protocols, compression techniques and methods to make viewing product images as simple as possible for our members, and cost-effective for our advertisers," he said.
 Established in 1979, the CompuServe Information Service provides its worldwide membership of more than 1.5 million with database and services to meet both business and personal interests. CompuServe can be accessed by any modem-equipped personal computer utilizing general communications software.
 In addition to the CompuServe Information Service, CompuServe Incorporated provides frame relay, wide and local area networking services, business information services and software to major corporations and government agencies nationwide.
 CompuServe is an H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) company.
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Debra Young, 614-538-4553, CompuServe Mail 70004,336, or Michelle Moran, 614-538-3497, both of CompuServe Incorporated/

CO: CompuServe, Incorporated ST: Ohio IN: CPR PUB REA SU: PDT

AR -- CL003 -- 0092 12/03/93 08:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1993

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