The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) announced today a comprehensive Internet strategy which will expand the Company's leadership role in the online cosmetics industry. The Company's diverse portfolio of prestige brands, which appeals to a broad range of consumers, is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the enormous marketing opportunities presented by the World Wide Web. The strategy has three major goals: - to develop a powerful database by interacting directly with vast numbers of consumers, adding a new dimension to the Company's marketing efforts; - to increase sales in all channels by integrating traditional and online distribution; - to enhance the well-established equity of the Company's brands by developing and maintaining a three-tiered Internet presence, where the Company's brands will be available exclusively. The strategy includes the following components: - a content-rich, multi-brand beauty site with a distinct identity that will offer prestige brands from The Estee Lauder Companies' portfolio. The site is expected to launch by early 2001; - additional individual sites for the Company's prestige brands, building on the success of the Clinique, Origins and Bobbi Brown essentials sites, which have all developed substantial databases of registered users. All brand sites will encourage traffic to the multi-brand site through direct links; - specially-designed microsites--"stores-within-stores"--that will be available on certain retailers' e-commerce sites. These microsites will convey the unique image and experience of each brand within the retailers' sites. To accelerate the implementation of its online strategy, The Estee Lauder Companies has agreed to acquire, a popular Internet beauty site.