Worlds biggest online retailer opens store in Seattles University Village stocked with 6,000 books at same price as its website
Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore, 20 years after the worlds biggest online retailer started selling publications on the internet.
The company will unveil a shop called Amazon Books at University Village in Seattle, its home city, on Tuesday.
Amazon will stock about 6,000 books, with the selection based on reviews and sales data from Amazon.com. The price of books in the store will be the same as on the Amazon website.
The company has slowly moved into physical retailing by launching lockers and pick-up points where customers can collect their orders, and kiosks where they can buy gadgets such as the Kindle e-reader. However, this is thought to be the first time Amazon has opened a full-size, traditional shop.
The store includes a shelf holding the bestselling books on Amazon.com and another that are rated 4.8 stars and above by customers. Comments from reviews are also shown next to each book.
The opening of the store comes a month after Waterstores, the UK book chain, said it would stop selling the Kindle. James Daunt, the book chains managing director, said he had removed Kindles from most of its 280 stores because they were getting virtually no sales and the space has instead been turned over to paperback and hardback books.
After a decade in the doldrums for physical book sales which took Waterstones to the brink of collapse industry bosses said the move highlighted the revival of hardbacks and paperbacks.
Jennifer Cast, the vice-president of Amazon Books, said: Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com. Weve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.
The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, preorders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators assessments. These are fantastic books. Most have been rated four stars or above and many are award winners.
To give you more information as you browse, our books are face-out, and under each one is a review card with the Amazon.com customer rating and a review. You can read the opinions and assessments of Amazon.coms book-loving customers to help you find great books.
Customers will be able to try out Amazon technology products including the Fire Tablet and the Kindle in the Seattle store.
Retail analysts said that the opening of the shop showed that the similarities between online and high street retailers are growing.
Neil Saunders at Conlumino said: With the lines between physical and online becoming more blurred it makes sense for Amazon to experiment with physical outlets.
This is especially important as a number of US retailers, like Walmart, are now starting to move more aggressively into the digital space and are using their existing stores as hubs for delivery and collection of product.
This gives them a strategic advantage over Amazon and is something that the online giant needs to defend against. In [this] regard experimenting with physical outlets makes sense.
The store is also important from a promotional perspective in that it is both a marketing initiative keeping Amazon [at the] forefront of consumers minds, and can be used as a point of collection for products.