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Yahoo opens online mall

Yahoo opens up a huge online mall that allows visitors to use a single virtual shopping cart to buy goods from more than 2,700 independent stores.

Yahoo wants a cut of the holiday shopping profits, but the leading portal doesn't plan to stock up on Barbies and Beanie Babies. .

Instead, Yahoo opened up a huge online mall today, that allows visitors to use a single virtual shopping cart to buy goods from more than 2,700 independent stores.

Cobranded with Visa, YahooShopping lets consumers skim the prices of millions of products, check out at one online cash register, and ship gifts to multiple locations.

Products are broken up into 14 categories featuring e-tailers such as, FAO Schwarz, Egghead, Tower Records, The Company Store, Service Merchandise, Copeland's Sports, Frederick's of Hollywood, Tweeds, and The Vermont Teddy Bear Company.

"For millions of people, Yahoo is the single source used to find, compare and buy products across the Web," Jeff Mallett, chief operating officer of Yahoo, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, International Data Corporation predicted that Internet-related services will rake in $43.6 billion by 2002, up $4.5 billion from 1997. The explosion is being fueled in large part by the rush to erect e-commerce sites.

Yahoo isn't the only site with its eye on holiday shoppers--its announcement comes as other top shopping sites are stacking their shelves with new products and forging new partnerships.

Buy.com today changed its name and merged with SpeedServe, an online retailer of books, videos, and soon music. Taking on Yahoo, Buy.com wants to become the first "e-commerce portal."

Amazon.com also is branching out. Today the online bookseller unveiled a new gift center that includes toys, home videos, computer software, and games.