Barnes & Noble, America’s largest and most venerable bricks and mortar bookstore operation, hopes to give the kiss of life to its ailing online offshoot

B&N has chosen as resuscitator the web’s most popular site, Yahoo! Neither side would reveal the terms of the partnership deal announced today which, from October, will see the launch of a new free co-branded internet service. B&N replaces, which declined to renew its three year agreement with Yahoo!

The new venture will offer customers both of B&N and free access to the internet. Access software, also free, will be distributed through B&N’s 550 retail outlets and the joint site will vend books, music and videos – as will the Yahoo! site in return for an undisclosed percentage.

Stephen Riggio, vice chairman and acting chief executive of, dismissed fears that joint venture would cannibalize sales from its retail outlets: "We want to the customers to choose. We think they will buy more," he said.

Barnes & Noble has been slammed by analysts and investors, angered by its failure to exploit its retail strength in support of its publicly listed online venture.

News source: New York Times