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Old 11-02-2015, 09:47 PM   #1
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Amazon's First Bookstore Opens in Seattle

The rumors circulating over the past month that Amazon had a bookstore in the works have come true.
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Amazon has sent out a letter to their Seattle area customers with the news that Amazon's first bookstore, located at in the University Village shopping center at 4601 26th Ave NE, is no longer rumor or speculation (you can find the letter here).

Unlike Amazon's past retail efforts, which focused on vending machines, delivery lockers, and pickup/dropoff unstores, the new Amazon Books has actual books in stock on its shelves, as well as Kindle ereaders, Fire tablets, and other Amazon hardware.

...

The books carried in the 7,500 square foot store are chosen based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and Amazon's curators’ assessments. All of the books are face out on the shelf, and under each book is a presentation card with the Amazon.com customer rating and a review.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:49 PM   #2
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From the Seattle Times:
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There is some irony in Amazon opening a physical store. For years, it could undercut physical retailers on price because it didn’t have brick-and-mortar locations. But those stores offered something Amazon couldn’t: the instant gratification of owning an item the second it was purchased, as well as the personal touch of a knowledgeable sales clerk.

But Amazon is betting that the troves of data it generates from shopping patterns on its website will give it advantages in its retail location that other bookstores can’t match. It will use data to pick titles that will most appeal to Seattle shoppers.

And that could also solve the business problem that has long plagued other bookstores, unsold books that gather dust on shelves and get sent back to publishers. More than most book retailers, Amazon has deep insight into customer buying habits and can stock its store with the titles most likely to move.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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That's actually pretty cool!

A bookstore with... books. How innovative! Sounds like the kind of bookstore I might like to visit, if I lived anywhere near Seattle that is.


Innovation always wins.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:04 PM   #4
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I wish I lived near it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:29 PM   #5
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I live near it, but it's a bookstore and I no longer visit bookstores
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:39 PM   #6
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I don't see the point. Forty years ago I shared a house with a bunch of guys in suburban DC. One of the guys was from New York.

Not too far away was a Brentano's bookstore. Brentano's was (and perhaps still is) a New York store, and my friend bought his books at the DC Brentano's, as if buying them at a Brentano's made them special!
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:46 PM   #7
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I live near it, but it's a bookstore and I no longer visit bookstores
True.

On the other hand, it's Amazon, and we know how much you like Amazon.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
I don't see the point. Forty years ago I shared a house with a bunch of guys in suburban DC. One of the guys was from New York.

Not too far away was a Brentano's bookstore. Brentano's was (and perhaps still is) a New York store, and my friend bought his books at the DC Brentano's, as if buying them at a Brentano's made them special!
Aside for boycotting B&N, I don't care where I get my books or ebooks from.

On the other hand, a new store is something to check out, and it is entirely possible it will be a pleasant experience.
The name of the store doesn't make it special, but obviously, being a pleasant store to be in and shop at, would make it special...
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:47 AM   #9
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The books carried in the 7,500 square foot store are chosen based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and Amazon's curators’ assessments.
That's the reason I've been shopping for my books online since 1998 - what is stocked in stores is rarely what I want to read. Plus it's a bit far from the UK to just pop over and check it out
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:06 AM   #10
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Plus it's a bit far from the UK to just pop over and check it out
Do they do mail order?

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Old 11-03-2015, 06:12 AM   #11
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Do they do mail order?

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Dunno, I'd need to pop over and ask them so back to "it's a bit far..."
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:59 AM   #12
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Actually, this store *may* serve one other purpose:
Remember that B&N organized a boycott of Amazon Publishing imprints and titles that was promptly joined by the indie bookstores.
By doing bookstores, Amazon increases the reach of its imprints and serves notice that if b&m refuses to sell their books, they'll get into b&m themselves.

Best way for a small bookstore to avoid getting an Amazon store nearby might be to start carrying those pbooks. They *are* broadly available through the usual distributors.

We'll have to see how this experiment plays out for Amazon.
But now they have *really* given the small B&M stores something to fret over.

Edit:
Btw, Amazon can stock the store straight from their fulfillment center and return slow sellers to the warehouse instead of to the publisher. They should be able to do ship to store and even one hour special order in the store. Given that it's in a mall one could walk in, order a book, go shopping, and pick it up on the way home.

Lots of tricks they can play with this book boutique format.
There's easily room for a few dozen nationally.

Last edited by fjtorres; 11-03-2015 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #13
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Via the BBC:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34710069

Signature quote:

Quote:

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, was unimpressed, particularly with the decision to display books mainly "face out".
"With only 5,000 titles in a space in which Waterstones would put over 10 times that number, it appears to be a tentative dip of the toe into physical bookselling waters.
Clearly, however, a skim of the bestsellers away from true bookshops would be very damaging: we very much hope that it falls flat on its face."
Amazon stocks 5000 titles people like and showcases them for their customers while traditional bookstores wallpaper their stores with 50,000 spine out titles.

It'll be interesting to see how Amazon's book-tique model works for featured titles.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:46 PM   #14
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Expanding on the post from @fjtorres. One hour special orders, if they were available in store, would be a killer feature for a B&M bookstore. It might only have 5,000 titles on the shelves, but these would represent only the tip of the iceberg. A physical store with the vast majority of Amazon's huge online stock available within an hour! Is there that much of a difference between having those books available immediately in store and having them available from Amazon's nearby warehouse within an hour? Yes, some customers will not want to wait, but even some of these will just opt for home delivery. Perhaps James Daunt should be thinking of this 7,500 metre store as containing more titles than the largest Barnes and Noble store. As will any such store in an area near an Amazon warehouse where such quick delivery is available.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:39 PM   #15
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As will any such store in an area near an Amazon warehouse where such quick delivery is available.
Amazon has been investing in their regional fulfillment centers.
They've been investing in POD.
They've been investing in same day delivery in select markets, including Seattle.

All those things can be leveraged for very fast delivery of special order pbooks at little added cost to Amazon because they already need them for their online store. To a large extent they have swapped expensive storefront floorspace for cheap fullfilment center and delivery van space.

In this model, small isn't a limitation; it's a virtue in at least two ways: lower operating cost and increased visibility for the showcased titles the carry in-store.

Instead of pooh-poohing Amazon's approach they ought to be looking for ways to copy it before Amazon replicates it all over and starts cherry picking the biggest most afluent pbook markets.

(The already own all the small markets without big stores, after all.)

Last edited by fjtorres; 11-03-2015 at 09:41 PM.
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