Google launches desktop shopping helper

Google has expanded its local shopping search function for mobile phones to the desktop in the USA.

A new widget, which suggests local retailers based on search results, uses IP location to point you in the direction of your nearest brick 'n' mortar outlet by clicking on the 'local stores' button.

The search engine superpower says it has partnered with over 70 retail brands and can check on the availablity of more than four billion items, as well as providing phone numbers and directions to the closest stockist.

The new search function hooks up with retail inventory software from JDA, Epicor and Oracle but Google says it will soon launch a simpler solution for smaller retailers.

There's no indication of if or when the system will spread to the UK but if there's a buck to be turned, you can bet Google will be all over it.