Google in talks to take on Amazon in retail: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2011 5:08 PM
Google in talks to take on Amazon in retail: report

(Reuters) - Google Inc is pondering an Internet service to help consumers shop online and take advantage of same-day delivery, hoping to stanch the loss of Web traffic to Amazon.com Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Internet search leader is in talks with major retailers and shippers, including Macy's, Gap Inc and OfficeMax, to set up the service, the newspaper cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

Google and Amazon did not return calls for comment. Macy's, Gap and OfficeMax were not immediately available for comment.

Google may be casting a wary eye on the popularity of Amazon.com's Prime service -- which allows rapid shipping for an annual fee -- fearing it will entice away the Web traffic it depends on from its own sites.

The plan under consideration stops short of selling directly to consumers, the Journal cited a person familiar with the matter as saying.

Google will instead work in tandem with retailers' websites, combining an existing product-search feature that directs shoppers to those sites, with a new shipping service that it intends to create and oversee, the Journal reported.

That new feature is designed to determine if a nearby physical store has a desired product in stock. Google could then offer the consumer an option to receive their goods within a day or two, for a fee, the newspaper said.

Google plans a test trial in the San Francisco Bay area for the new initiative, which could also involve United Parcel Service Inc, the Journal added.