Circuit City, Amazon Hook Up for Store Fulfillment

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Amazon.com said yesterday that it will make some electronic purchases at its site available for pickup at Circuit City's 600 stores.


The service, which is set to launch in November, will be available on electronics sold by Amazon that also are carried in Circuit City stores. For such items, customers will be able to have the items shipped by Amazon or choose to pick them up at their nearest Circuit City store.


Circuit City will pay Amazon a percentage of the sales generated via www.amazon.com. Amazon will be responsible for taking the orders and payments, though Circuit City will receive the transaction price and then pay Amazon a percentage of each sale. Circuit City will fulfill the store orders, provide customer service and accept returns on merchandise picked up at its outlets.


Additional terms of the multiyear agreement were not disclosed.


The deal builds on Circuit City's long-standing policy of offering its Web customers the chance to pick up orders at local outlets.


Celeste Gunter, director of investor relations at Circuit City, Richmond, VA, said that the Amazon deal was designed to drive foot traffic and increase store sales. Gunter said that the Amazon relationship was the only channel-sharing agreement her firm had with an industry competitor.


"Obviously, there are some similarities for both businesses if you focus on the broad category of consumer electronics," she said. "But, looking at Amazon's customer base, we feel a lot of its customers are not people who normally shop at Circuit City. We will attempt to leverage that opportunity from a marketing standpoint."


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