Walmart joins forces with Google on voice-activated shopping

FILE- In this combo of file photos shows, a Google sign at a store on Aug. 7, 2017, in Hialeah, Fla., bottom, and a Walmart sign on June 1, 2017, in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Wednesday, Aug. 23, that it’s working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items from laundry detergent to Legos for voice shopping through Google Assistant. The capability will be available in late September. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

NEW YORK (AP) - Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. But unlike online leader Amazon, it's not doing it alone.

The world's largest retailer said Wednesday it's working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items from laundry detergent to Legos for voice shopping through Google Assistant. The capability will be available in late September.

It's Google's biggest retail partnership - and the most personalized shopping experience it offers - as it tries to broaden the reach of its voice-activated assistant Home speaker. And it underscores Walmart's drive to compete in an area dominated by Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo device.

"Voice shopping is becoming a more important part of everyday shopping behavior," said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart's U.S. e-commerce business.

The voice-activated devices are becoming more mainstream as they become more accessible.