Google working with Barnes & Noble to take on Amazon

When it comes to taking on Amazon (AMZN), it helps to have a behemoth as a partner.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) is working with tech giant Google (GOOG) to provide same-day delivery of books to customers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco area.

The partnership, which begins today, will offer low-cost and fast delivery of physical books, providing a challenge to the dominant player in the space, Amazon. For Barnes & Noble, the new service could provide a boost to its online business, at a time when its retail sales are facing stiff headwinds. Same-store sales slipped 3.1 percent in its fiscal year ended May 3, while it's also shuttered dozens of stores during the past few years.

"We think we're going to get new customers and incremental sales" through the partnership, Barnes & Noble chief merchandising officer Jaime Carey told CBS MoneyWatch. He declined to comment on the financials of the deal with Google or how the service compares with Amazon. "The speed to market they are offering our customers and their customers is really incredible."

Google, in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch, said, "We're excited that people in San Francisco Bay Area, West LA and Manhattan will be able to use Google Shopping Express to get same day deliveries from Barnes & Noble, joining our existing retail partners like Target, Costco and Staples."

The move comes as Amazon is expanding its same-day delivery service. On Wednesday, the Seattle-based retailer said it would expand its "Get It Today" service to Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

While the Google partnership with Barnes & Noble is focused on books, Amazon is touting its ability to deliver anything from back-to-school supplies to video games, as long as the orders are placed before noon. The same-day delivery cost is $5.99 for prime members.

As for Google and Barnes & Noble, customers who are members of Google Shopping Express can get free delivery, while it will cost $4.99 per delivery for non-members.

Google started its Google Shopping Express service about a year ago, providing delivery of products from stores ranging from Staples to Walgreens.

  • Aimee Picchi

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