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Amazon Launches Four Stores, Acquires Catalog Company

Leading online retailer Amazon.com bolstered its leverage in e-commerce Tuesday by introducing four new one-stop online stores in its effort to become a one-stop online shopping destination.

The new destinations will focus on home improvement, software, video games and gift ideas, which will open Wednesday.

The (http://www.amazon.com/homeimprovement) Amazon.com Home Improvement Store will offer the same helpful information of other Amazon.com stores: Customer reviews of products, reviews by expert editors, high-quality product images and other vital product information.

Customers can browse through eight categories such as electrical and lighting, hardware, housewares, lawn and garden, outdoor living, painting supplies, plumbing and tools. Shipping is only $4.95 per delivery.

(http://www.amazon.com/giftideas) Amazon.com Gift Ideas features an extensive selection of gift ideas and services for all holidays. Shoppers may browse 15 categories by interest or age to find thousands of the best gift ideas.

(http://www.amazon.com/software) Amazon.com Software has a complete line of office, educational, and gaming titles, with such categories as fashion and beauty, personal improvement, graphics and multimedia. The store will feature such titles as: Adobe Photoshop, Homeworld, Red Hat Linux 6.1, Quicken 2000, Microsoft Office 2000 and Cosmopolitan Virtual Make-Over 2.0 Deluxe.

(http://www.amazon.com/videogames) Amazon.com Video Games will provide shoppers with thousands of popular video games and accessories for personal computers and for all of the major video game platforms. In addition, the store will feature rich editorial content and special features to help customers make informed purchase decisions.

Also, Amazon.com (AMZN) bought Tool Crib of the North, a leading tools and equipment catalog company.

"Tool Crib already had the largest selection of tools and equipment anywhere -- online or off -- and Amazon.com has more than tripled that selection to launch our new Home Improvement store," said Joe Galli, Amazon.com president and chief operating officer.

"Whether you're a contractor or a hobbyist, we've got the brands you're looking for and the biggest selection, from smoke detectors and garden hoses to concrete mixers, generators and table saws."

This is the latest move to gear up for the impending holidays by the industry giant, who in October added gift registry system Wish List to help shoppers find the perfect holiday gift.