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CNET announced that it is now helping consumers find tech gadgets in local, offline stores:

CNET's innovative local shopping capability goes beyond today's standard local shopping services, which typically provide stock availability for a retailer, but not for a specific store. Product availability information, which is provided by Channel Intelligence (, is available for more than 1,600 of this year's hottest products, as determined by popularity on CNET, as well as availability at participating retailers, which include Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and OfficeMax. CNET also provides shoppers with total price of the product, including tax according to zip code, as well as links to reputable online retailers.

… And Google gets into the act as well (with a little help and a little additional help), offering local inventory information. But eventually Google hopes to obtain more of this local/offline information directly from local merchants via Google Base as well.

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