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Barnesandnoble.com enlists host of online allies

Barnesandnoble.com is stepping up its marketing efforts online by forming alliances with seven leading e-commerce companies.

Barnesandnoble.com today stepped up its marketing efforts online by forming alliances with seven leading e-commerce companies.

The Web arm of book superstore Barnes & Noble said that it will link to 1-800-Flowers.com, Expedia.com, Jcrew.com, L.L. Bean, Petsmart.com, PlanetRx.com and VitaminShoppe.com in exchange for equal promotion on their respective sites.

"We looked at some figures and selected these companies for their great brands," said company spokeswoman Lisa Lanspery. "We wanted to leverage these assets and allow them to take advantage of ours."

The partnerships, which launched today, could help Barnesandnoble.com gain some ground against online leader Amazon.com, which has continued to beef up its product offerings and extend its market clout through acquisitions and investments.

This year, Barnesandnoble.com has set its sights squarely on acquiring new customers at lower costs, Lanspery said. Today's agreements are designed to help each member company tap into the other's customer base.

Under the terms of the marketing deal, no money exchanges hands between member companies.

"This is not an affiliate deal," Lanspery said. "We're not charging anybody. All of (the companies) are just getting access to millions of new buyers."

Lanspery said that Barnesandnoble.com will provide links to the companies in its "Thank You" area, the transaction page where customers go after they have made purchases. This is to ensure that the company doesn't encourage customers to leave Barnesandnoble.com before they buy.

Member companies will also be included in various Barnesandnoble.com direct-marketing initiatives, including coupons and emails.