In 2011, Amazon announced that for the first time ever, eBook sales had finally exceeded print sales in the United States. This wasn’t quite the death knell of the brick-and-mortar book store, but it was clear in which direction the audience had begun to shift. Now, right on the heels of the unveiling of Kindle Unlimited, Google and Barnes & Noble have announced they will be joining forces to deliver physical copies of books to your home on the same day you order them.
The New York Times reports that customers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from their local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express starting this Thursday. Google Shopping Express is a relatively new service, having launched just last year, but huge businesses like Target, Staples and Walgreens have already signed on.
Barnes & Noble is easily the most interesting partner yet as the delivery service could potentially have wide-reaching implications for the future of print sales. Having closed more than 60 stores in the last five years, Barnes & Noble could certainly use a boost.
“Many of our shoppers have told us that when they read a review of a book or get a recommendation from a friend, they want a really easy way to buy that book and start reading it tonight,” Tom Fallows, director of product for Google Shopping Express, told the Times. “We think it’s a natural fit to create a great experience connecting shoppers with their town’s Barnes & Noble.”
Delivery will be free for Google Shopping members and will cost $4.99 per delivery for everyone else. Google plans to expand into Brooklyn and Queens as well.