Amazon Wages War On Brick-And-Mortar Stores

5 comments
Amazon War on Book Stores

Via All Things D

Two days ago Brandon Tietz brought us a story on the practice of showrooming, which is the act of going into brick-and-mortar stores and sampling products before buying them on Amazon. 

Many people (myself included) feel this is bad form, especially when it comes to indie bookstores. 

Now it looks like Amazon wants to actively encourage the practice. On Dec. 10, they're asking shoppers to use their proprietary bar-code-scanning app to help them gather intelligence on in-store pricing. 

Amazon’s Price Check app is available for iPhone and Android, and if you use it to send data over to Amazon during the promotion, you get 5 percent, or up to $5 off, on three items. 

Said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile: 

We scour online and in-store advertisements from other retailers, every day, year-round. Now, we are enabling customers to use the Price Check app to share in-store prices while they search for the best deals.

I'm about to go off on a rant, so if you're not into that kind of thing, feel free to go read about less controversial subjects

For my day job, I work for a digital publishing imprint that's housed in a very groovy independent bookstore. Amazon's prices and convenience make it tough for any bookstore to operate, and it's a slap in the face when people come in to take photos of books so they can buy them on Amazon. 

I'm not arguing against a free market economy, but this goes beyond price-cutting: This is an act of war by Amazon against physical retailers, and if this practice of offering scanning discounts becomes more prevalent, it's going to be a big blow against indie bookstores. 

Not cool, Amazon. 

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Comments

Gareth's picture
Gareth from Melbourne is reading Franz Kafka December 7, 2011 - 7:19am

I guess this showrooming has always happened since eBusiness began but to actively promote it to get a discount sounds unethical.  Amazon are basically asking us to work for them by doing price research.  And what?  For $5?  Sometimes a discount costs too much.  

Limbless K9's picture
Limbless K9 from Oregon is reading Wraeththu December 7, 2011 - 8:18am

I'm using this at Barnes and Noble. B&N can suck my dick.

CrispinXV's picture
CrispinXV from Chicago is reading Damned by Chuck Palahniuk December 7, 2011 - 8:34am

I think that the online stuff of Amazon is cool and all but I agree, it really does take away the fun of going to the bookstore and just wandering and looking.  I was pretty upset when Borders went out of business because I would spend hours just looking at books.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 7, 2011 - 11:36am
Kirk's picture
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Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun December 7, 2011 - 11:49am

I have worked in several retail stores and every week, someone from our stores had to go to our nearest competitors and do this (and vice-versa). This practice has been around for years, only it used to be done by a sales person.

In fact, every store I worked in knew the employees at other stores and we would chat a little when we saw them walk into the store to do the same.