The General Services Administration has picked a favorite bookseller on the Web. The GSA, which handles major purchases for a variety of federal government agencies, signed a contract with barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN) to give its employees access to books through the bookseller’s Business Solutions program.
The five year contract allows federal employees to purchase barnesandnoble.com books and other offerings from the GSA Advantage Web site.
First of its Kind
The agreement is the first the GSA has signed with an online merchant, and it is the only deal so far with a bookseller. GSA Advantage offers government employees in the United States and abroad products including vehicles, scientific equipment, hardware and furniture, industrial supplies and services such as temporary staffing.
The barnesandnoble.com service on the GSA Advantage site is on display to government staffers this week in the Electronic Enterprise Pavilion at the E-Gov ’99 electronic commerce exposition.
Barnesandnoble.com, which recently simplified its domain name to www.bn.com, plans to offer special promotions on the GSA site — to give government employees a reason to look there rather than on other Web-based bookseller sites. The GSA annually negotiates contracts with the private sector for $40 billion (US$) in goods and services, barnesandnoble.com said.
GSA Contracting Officer Mary Ann DeFeo says the deal will help save taxpayers money. “barnesandnoble.com’s Business Solutions Program will allow us to streamline the purchasing process for books easily and efficiently,” she said.
Special Business Interface
Launched in July of 1998, barnesandnoble.com’s Business Solutions program is a business-to-business e-commerce program that makes it easier for companies to manage book purchasing.
The bookseller has more than 100 corporate clients in the program, including Bell South, WW Grainger, Gateway and Toyota. Business Solutions provides a unique business homepage for barnesandnoble.com, allowing customers to buy books, monitor and analyze their purchasing and view specific titles barnesandnoble.com recommends.
Barnesandnoble.com, launched in May 1997, is the fifth largest e-commerce retailer. The site gives shoppers access to more than 750,000 titles stocked by its brick-and-mortar sister Barnes & Noble, Inc.