Google, Barnes & Noble team up to take on Amazon
Google (GOOG) and Barnes & Noble (BN) are teaming up to take on Amazon (AMZN) on its home turf: books.
As of this Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, San Francisco and West Los Angeles will be able to get any Barnes & Noble store item delivered the same day via Google Shopping Express.
Google’s fledgling shopping and delivery service has been gaining ground since it kicked off about a year ago. It allows shoppers to order products from a host of stores, such as Costco, Target and Walgreens, and uses hired couriers to pick-up from the store location and deliver the products within a set window that day.
Google Shopping Express goes head-to-head with Amazon’s expanding same-day delivery service, which the company announced Wednesday would expand to 10 cities from four.
Barnes & Noble is the latest company to join the list of stores on Google’s shopping roster, and the partnership creates a force to go after Amazon’s traditional book business, especially after run-ins with publishers such as Hachette have left many book aficionados annoyed with Amazon’s bullying tactics.
The mutually beneficial team-up allows Barnes & Noble to connect its brick-and-mortar stores with online retailing. This could boost the company’s physical store sales after years of stagnant growth.
Over five years, the company closed 63 stores, including some in prime metropolitan areas such as Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Barnes & Noble now has about 660 retail stores and 700 college campus stores.
For Google, the partnership beefs up its offering of same-day items, securing its grip on the lucrative search business which Amazon’s massive online shopping site continues to threaten.
Amazon pioneered same-day delivery, although other companies such as Wal-Mart and eBay have also introduced the option. Amazon charges $5.99 for Prime members and $9.98 for others to take advantage of the service.
Google Shopping Express will charge $4.99 per delivery, per store, and is offering free delivery for subscribers. A subscription membership is free for the first six months. Google has yet to set a membership fee for its service.