By the end of 2012, online retail giant Amazon is set to open its first brick and mortar location in Seattle. Unlike the online site that offers virtually any product under the sun, the local retail store will focus primarily on books. The store will also carry a wide array of accessories for its popular line of e-reader, the Kindle.
While this may seem an odd move for a company with Amazon’s online success, they seem to be following the lead of such companies as Apple and Microsoft. Having retail locations will provide Kindle users a place to get the same local support users of the iPad tablet and Nook e-reader devices receive from Apple and Barnes & Noble stores, respectively. This move will also provide prospective Kindle users with the ability to test the product prior to purchase.
In 2011, Amazon formed its own in-house publishing company. Now, in addition to offering ebook downloads on the Kindle device, Amazon is able to offer hard copies of its books. Within the first few months of the announcement, Amazon’s publishing division was able to gain exclusive distribution rights from many high-profile indie authors.
Because two of the largest remaining brick and mortal booksellers, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble, have refused to sell Amazon books in their stores, opening boutique retail stores will give Amazon an additional sales outlet for their fledgling publishing division. It will also serve to help remind consumers that Amazon is out there, even when they aren’t online. According to Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, following in the footsteps of Apple could be a successful move for the online retailer.
If Amazon does truly stick to the Apple model of opening boutique stores in affluent areas, Amazon additional Amazon locations could open up in shopping malls and retail centers around the country. Of course, the test location in Seattle must be a success before you can expect to see an Amazon location in your town. Otherwise, this retail giant may stick with what it’s already profitable at: selling a wide variety of products to consumers via the Internet.
Kozlowski, Michael. “Amazon in the process of launching a retail store.” Retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/amazon-in-the-process-of-launching-a-retail-store/
MSNBC.com Staff. “Amazon reportedly looking at opening retail stores.” Retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/06/10331220-amazon-reportedly-looking-at-opening-retail-stores