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Google 'Local' Retail: Boon or Bane?

Local retail merchants, take heed: multi-tentacled Google is now branching into local consumer markets with an online service that would allow consumers to order from local businesses and receive delivery the next day. The benefit to time-strapped consumers is clear, but the effect on local merchants is more muddled. If successful, will Google's service offer a new opportunity to reach more shoppers or will it drive down traffic to local stores further depressing retail economics? If its the latter, retail developers and owners may not see any respite to the glut of vacant space on the market. [NYT] -Lee Kolber