Retailers Band Together for Online Shipping Promotion

Some 40 retailers and brands are joining a new loyalty program created by GSI Commerce Inc. (GSIC) to offer shoppers unlimited two-day shipping and returns across their online stores.

The program, called ShopRunner, will cost $79 per year—the same as the Prime shipping program offered by the largest online-only retailer Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN).

Participants include many existing GSI Commerce e-commerce service clients such as Toys “R” Us Inc. and GNC Corp. In the coming weeks, outside retailers such as Borders Group Inc. (BGP), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) and Drugstore.com (DSCM) will also join ShopRunner.

“If it wasn’t for the scale, these retailers were likely to have done something like this on their own,” said Mike Golden, president of Shop Runner Inc., which is wholly owned by GSI Commerce. He declined to say how much the companies were paying to participate in the program, but GSI is spending about $5 million this year to launch ShopRunner.

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