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E*Trade goes shopping

The online broker branches into e-tailing with a new shopping area.

E*Trade today launched its foray into the bustling online shopping arena.

The online brokerage has opened a new area on its site--called the Shopping Center--that features a number of major online vendors.

Among the online stores included are N2K's Music Boulevard, Ziff Davis's, CyberShop International's, and eGifts. Also participating are NationsBank's and Savvy Traveler services

E*Trade plans to further build out the Shopping Center. "In the future, we intend to expand our offerings to include even more of the world's top online retailers," E*Trade marketing vice president Jerry Gramaglia said in a statement.

The firm is one of many trying to capitalize on the online holiday shopping rush. "With the holiday season upon us, we expect to see an immediate impact as users opt for the convenience of their own home over a crowded shopping mall," Gramaglia said.

Last week E*Trade said that it would launch bond trading services with the unveiling of its new Bond Center. The Bond Center will give customers access to market data and the ability to place online orders for U.S. Treasuries, corporate, and municipal bonds. The service is set to roll-out within a month.

Many online stores that obtain premium placement to sell their goods and services on portals and other services such as E*Trade often pay a hefty price that may often include shared revenue streams. No terms were disclosed in today's announcement.