World Bulletin / News Desk
Amazon has opened its first physical bookstore, in Seattle's University Park, 20 years after lanching its online store, reports Associated Press.
Like traditional bookstores, Amazon Books will feature wooden shelves stocked with about 6,000 titles.The company plans to analyze the troves of data its customers generate to determine which titles will appeal most to shoppers in its bookstore, perhaps avoiding the challenge of unsold inventory.
The Seattle store will be a physical extension of the Amazong website, combining the benefits of online pricing with traditional book shopping, the company said in a statement.
Amazon Books vice president Jennifer Cast told The Seattle Times, "We hope this is not our only one. But we'll see."
The first shoppers found displays of books with cards containing ratings and reviews. Amazon said it wanted shoppers to walk out with books or later purchase their picks online.
"They're the dominant retailer in the country, and they kind of got there by playing real hard ball," said John Mutter, editor-in-chief of the book trade newsletter Shelf Awareness. "They are considered the Darth Vader of the business because they play really brutally."
Yet the store makes sense because it was a missing part of the company's book business, Mutter said.
Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester Research, said the store appears to be an experiment to see what the company can learn.
"If they sell books, awesome. Even if they don't sell books, there's a lot to learn about how people discover products, how they shop for products," Mulpuru said. "Does a physical store increase your likelihood to spend with Amazon in general? Does it make you more loyal to Amazon?"
Peter Aaron, owner of Seattle's independent Elliott Bay Book Co., which offers about 160,000 books, said he wasn't sure what to make of the move by the online retailer.
"I can't imagine that there would be any profit, especially if their pricing is identical to the prices online, given rent and staffing," he added.
Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2015, 11:42