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Amazon.com, Home Depot Eyeing Partnership

Amazon.com Corp. and Home Depot are considering a partnership that would give the home improvement giant access to Amazon's 10.7 million customers.

Home Depot (HD) spokesman Jerry Shields told TheStreet.com the two companies are talking, but he refused to detail what kind of alliance might be under consideration. Amazon.com refused to comment.

The deal marks the latest in a new trend, dubbed "click and mortar" that represents the combining of the Internet's efficiencies with the much-needed assets of traditional retailers, including an established distribution chain.

Analysts say as Amazon.com (AMZN) looks to move beyond books, movies and videos, a solid distribution chain becomes critical since customers demand quick shipping and solid customer service from Internet retailers.

Amazon.com has already committed to growing its warehouse space to 5.3 million square feet by the end of this year.

The importance of customer support explains why a number of e-tailers are teaming with established retail brands, such as the recent partnership between drug companies Drugstore.com (DSCM) and Rite Aid which will give the online drug store access to third-party insurance contracts.

Amazon.com recently added expertise in the retailing arena with the hiring of Joseph Galli, Amazon's new president and chief operating officer. Galli came to Amazon.com from home improvement equipment maker Black & Decker.