Telecom is aiming to corner the online shopping market with the up-coming launch of a site called Ferrit.

Ferrit general manager Ralph Brayham said the name was chosen from a list of 600 and "captured the spirit of what we're doing".

"Ferrit is very much a verb for us. It's the action of ferreting stuff out," he said.

The website is to launch before Christmas.

"Our only objective is to become the biggest online shopping mall for retailers to sell new goods," Brayham said.

Initially, users will be able to compare goods and prices before linking to the retailer's site to make their purchase. Later, a shopping cart enabling users to collect goods from many retailers will be introduced.

Brayham said Telecom had the online expertise "to build a product that a huge number of retailers can leverage, that they would never be able to do on their own".

Started in July, Ferrit had been built quickly, he said.

"This is a nuclear explosion that we're trying to ride. My experience in building stuff like this is you'll fill the time you give yourself, so we might as well set an ambitious target and work towards it."

Brayham is keen to squash speculation that Ferrit will be a competitor for online auction site TradeMe.

"We have got no intention ... and have built no capacity to compete with TradeMe," he said.

Retailers selling second-hand goods are welcome to join, but goods would not be auctioned online.

To date, 88 retailers have signed up and Brayham is setting big targets, including more than 2 million product listings by launch day.

"We know from our work ... that there's over 80,000 product-and-service providers in New Zealand, and we'll take any that want to be involved."

Retailers will pay a fee for selling through Ferrit, but Brayham said there was no charge for joining the site. "We've committed to retailers that we won't ask them to give us money until we've proven that we're driving value for them."