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Amazon.com Launches Health, Beauty Store

Amazon.com Monday put its strategic alliance with drugstore.com to use by launching its new health and beauty store with a direct gateway to the online pharmacy.

When shoppers go to the Amazon.com (AMZN) home page, they can click the health and beauty tab and enter the drugstore.com (DSCM) online storefront.

This arrangement offers consumers convenient access to drugstore.com's more than 20,000 health and beauty products, useful content and buying guides and pharmacy. drugstore.com is the first Amazon.com partner to be featured as an integrated part of Amazon.com's navigational structure.

"We are always looking for ways to improve the Amazon.com shopping experience. We want our customers to come to us to find anything and everything that they might want to buy online," said Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com.

"This new store provides our 17 million customers with a convenient link to a wealth of health and beauty products, information, and services from drugstore.com."

Last January, the giant retailer invested $30 million to raise its stake in the online drugstore to 28 percent. In turn, the pharmacy paid Amazon.com $105 million to become the first permanent "tab" on its Web site that will let customers directly access drugstore.com's products and services. Previously, Amazon.com offered temporary links and gift certificates for drugstore.com.

The launch comes at a time when business among e-tailers is somewhat slow and many dot-com stocks have seen significant drops, which industry pundits say is a sign of the e-commerce sector becoming too clogged with firms trying to sell their wares on the Web.