While most large retailers already have their inventory online, the same cannot be said about local stores. To power its “See what’s in store” feature, Google announced today that it’s acquiring Dublin-based Pointy.

One of the challenges small merchants face is getting their in-store inventory information online in a way that is easy to manage and reliably up to date.

Pointy has done just that with a small hardware box that plugs into barcode scanners and an app that can be installed on point of sale (POS) systems. This data then gets surfaced in Google Search’s “See what’s in store” feature.

Introduced several years ago, Google says, “Pointy has been one of [its] key partners, helping thousands of local merchants display this data within Google.” The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks following customary closing conditions. In terms of existing reach:

The last six years have been an incredible adventure, and today marks the start of a new chapter. From small beginnings, we’re very proud to serve local retailers in almost every city and every town in the US and throughout Ireland.

Pointy speaks of its “very close partnership with Google,” and the “same vision of how technology can improve local retail businesses.” The deal allows the Irish company to bring local store discovery on a “much larger scale” thanks to “Google’s resources and reach.”

By joining forces, we will be able to help people discover local stores and products on a much larger scale. We think this is the right way to accomplish what we set out to do — to bring the world’s retailers online and give them the tools they need to thrive.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com