Amazon Goes Brick And Mortar

Amazon Goes Brick And Mortar

Amazon has opened Amazon Books, their first brick and mortar bookstore, in Seattle.

After 20 years of online business, Amazon has decided it's time to get local and give the bookstore business a run for its money in a new way. Because while Amazon has gotten physical (cue Olivia Newton John), they're playing with a different set of rules.

For starters, Amazon's made no bones about the fact that they will be using the mountains of data they've mined to create a bookstore collection that's likely to fly off the shelves. Think about it. 20 years of data, probably a LOT of which can be localized enough to say, "Hey, what are people buying in this neighborhood?" All that power put onto their bookshelves.

ALL books will be front-facing. No spines. And below each book you'll see a card with a star rating or a clipped review from

And all the books will be priced the same in-store as they are online.

Amazon also reached out to (or poached) staff from other bookstores and libraries to staff the new store. 

As of right now, no comment on whether other Amazon stores will be opening up.

What do you think? Is this the end of the world?

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Dino Parenti's picture
Dino Parenti from Los Angeles is reading Everything He Gets His Hands On November 4, 2015 - 8:47am

May not be the end of the world. Personally speaking, I'm always more apt to buy a book I've held in my hands and flipped through and weighed than one online. Also, if it feels way too corporate or the selections too picked-by-commitee, people will go to Elliot Bay or any number of other indie stores in Seattle.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine November 4, 2015 - 9:05am

Not gonna lie, if I'm in Seattle, I'm going in there. But not sure their popularity algorithm will meet my needs as a reader. 

Taylor's picture
Taylor from Durango, Colorado but living in Portland, Oregon is reading The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart November 4, 2015 - 11:39am

Hmm, I might have to check it out when I'm up in Seatown next. I like the idea of seeing all the books--kinda like a website layout, so that makes sense. It's probably a good place to go to find a book that's had enough exposure to warrant a stockpile of reviews and sales. What's lost is the hunt, the discovery of a cool book deep in the shelves. 

It reminds me of the old days of renting movies in stores (remember those??) You knew if you went to Blockbuster, they'd have all the popular movies and there was a good chance you could rent a copy because they stocked a whole bunch of them. But I loved the indie film houses because you could dig around and find stuff you'd never hear about through mainstream channels. 

I think there is room in the market for both. I mean Amazon hasn't become a book-selling powerhouse because they don't know what they are doing, right? It is ironic though. A definite realization on their part that readers actually like bookstores.

Note to Amazon though: authenticity cannot be faked. Don't make the same mistake as Starbucks when they sent spies to indie coffee shops in Seattle so they could see what made them so unique so they could open up non-Stabucks branded coffee houses next door made up to look like indie shops. No one was fooled. 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 5, 2015 - 7:22pm

Well the point in me using Barnes and Noble instead of Amazon is so I don't give amazon, and their band of corporate reviewers my money.

So yea, pretty much sticking with Mackays.