Shopping Channel beefed up

There's a new mall in town, and you can get there directly from here.

The's Shopping Network is unlike the majority of online shopping sites, as it connects merchants with buyers in some unique ways. The SN is in its "soft launch" phase, which means we haven't begun the promotional campaign that will drive users to the site. That also translates to this being a work in progress, so what you see today is not necessarily what you'll see next week, next month and surely not next year.

The SN features all the advertisers who appear in the pages of the Review-Journal and the family of Stephens Media publications and Web sites. That includes Las Vegas Business Press, Las Vegas City Life, Luxury and Polished magazines and View Community Newspapers. Every advertiser is already there, with a simple, virtual store front, that always includes the name, address and phone number of the business along with maps and listings of multiple locations, if necessary. If that business has an advertisement running in any of the print publications, those ads are there, too. A cool feature is the ability to see the ad without clicking on a link. Simply place your cursor over the "Preview" link and the ad appears in a temporary pop-up window. Move the cursor away from the Preview link, and the small window closes. You can see the full-sized version of the ad by clicking on the link that lists the ad features. The date the ad was published appears in the left-hand column of this section.

As you poke around the SN, you'll notice some merchants have much more in their store fronts. This could include text that tells more about the business and its offerings, and it may include news of any active deals or specials. There also could be links to the store's Web site or video ads.

Shoppers can get to all the information in a variety of ways. You can browse all ads by category, brands or ads. Links near the top of the pages lead to listings of all Stores, listings of all Ads, sorted alphabetically, all active Special Sections (Guide to Las Vegas, Golf, etc...), Coupons, Around Towns (news of shopping events the area), Mobile Alerts, Promotions and eNewsletters.

The Network is designed to help shoppers make buying decisions and also find the best deals in the area. It's our goal to drive foot traffic from the Web to the stores, while at the same time helping businesses that do have e-commerce on their own sites connect with buyers. We're the best place to find shopping information in our marketplace. Period.