Amazon, Office Depot Launch Online Store

SEATTLE - Inc. plans to launch an online office products store with Office Depot Inc., as both retailers seek to lure customers amid a sluggish climate for consumer spending.

The alliance between the Internet's biggest online retailer and the largest U.S. office supply store chain is the biggest since Amazon allied with Target Corp. about a year ago.

Financial terms of the multiyear agreement were not announced.

"This is a very important relationship for us," Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, told Reuters. "Very few companies work with the scale of Office Depot and with the customer focus."

Like other deals that feature online "stores" on Amazon's Web site, such as those with Toys R Us Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc., Amazon will process transactions while Office Depot will manage inventory and product fulfillment.

Initially, customers will have their goods delivered, but eventually Amazon and Office Depot expect that they will be able to go to an Office Depot store to pick up their order. Currently, shoppers at the Circuit City store on Amazon's e-commerce site can pick up their order at a retail outlet.

Office Depot said the virtual store will offer more than 50,000 products, including pens, ink toners, paper, office furniture, computers and printers.
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