Barnes & Noble and Google Unite for Same-Day Delivery

August 14, 2014

When book sales giant Amazon announced the expansion of its same-day delivery service to six new U.S. cities last Wednesday (totaling ten locations), Barnes & Noble swiftly partnered with Google’s new shopping service, Google Shopping, to also offer same-day delivery in three cities. Barnes & Noble’s stores participating include the Union Square store in Manhattan, the Marina Del Rey store near Los Angeles, and the store on Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose, California.

Like Amazon, Google Shopping allows consumers to order products from different manufacturers and receive them within hours. However, instead of relying on warehouses crammed with merchandise, Google collects products from local stores—including Costco, Walgreens, Staples, and Target—and delivers them within a three- to four-hour window selected by the customer. Delivery is free for subscribers to Google Shopping Express (for which the subscription fee has not been announced), and costs $4.99 per delivery for others. Amazon’s same-day service, on the other hand, costs $5.99 for members of its Prime program, and $9.98 for others.

According to The New York Times, the move could revitalize B&N’s reach after the widespread closures of its brick-and-mortar bookstores. “It’s our attempt to link the digital and the physical,” said Michael P. Huseby, Barnes & Noble’s chief executive. And while Barnes & Noble looks to re-establish a strong foothold in the print books market, Google seeks to maintain its search engine advertising business, which Amazon can potentially undercut.

Asked about the viability of the program, Jaime Carey, chief merchandising officer at Barnes & Noble said that given the “speed to market,” in comparison to Amazon, the retailer is in the partnership for the “long haul.” “We feel [Google] presents a very good customer service and we see this as a long-term relationship,” he said.

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