Amazon begins a new chapter with opening of first physical bookstore

Worlds biggest online retailer opens store in Seattles University Village stocked with 6,000 volumes at same cost as its website

Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore, 20 years after the worlds biggest online retailer started selling publishings on the internet.

The company will unveil a store called Amazon Books at University Village in Seattle, its home city, on Tuesday.

Amazon will stock about 6,000 volumes, with the selection based on reviews and sales data from Amazon.com. The cost of volumes in the store will be the same as on the Amazon website.

The company has slowly moved into physical retailing by launching lockers and pick-up points where customers can collect their orders, and kiosks where they can buy contraptions such as the Kindle e-reader. However, this is thought to be the first time Amazon has opened a full-size, traditional shop.

The store includes a shelf holding the bestselling volumes on Amazon.com and the other that are rated 4.8 starrings and above by customers. Remarks from reviews are also depicted next to each book.

The opening of the store arrives a month after Waterstores, the UK book chain, said it would stop selling the Kindle. James Daunt, the book chains managing director, said he had removed Kindles from the majority of members of its 280 stores because they were getting almost no marketings and the space has instead been turned over to paperback and hardback books.

After a decade in the doldrums for physical volume marketings which took Waterstones to the brink of collapse industry bosses said the move highlighted the revival of hardbacks and paperbacks.

Jennifer Cast, the vice-president of Amazon Books, said: Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com. Weve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the added benefit of offline and online volume shopping.

The volumes in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, preorders, marketings, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators evaluations. These are fantastic volumes. Most have been rated four starrings or above and many are award winners.

To give you more information as you browse, our volumes are face-out, and under each one is a review card with the Amazon.com customer rating and a review. You can read the opinions and assessments of Amazon.coms book-loving customers to help you find great books.

Customers will be able to try out Amazon technology products including the Fire Tablet and the Kindle in the Seattle store.

Retail analysts said that the opening of the store showed that the similarities between online and high street retailers are growing.

Neil Saunders at Conlumino said: With the lines between physical and online becoming more blurred it constructs sense for Amazon to experiment with physical outlets.

This is especially important as a number of US retailers, like Walmart, are now starting to move more aggressively into the digital space and are use their existing stores as hub for delivery and collecting of product.

This devotes them a strategic advantage over Amazon and is something that the online giant needs to defend against. In[ this] regard experimenting with physical outlets constructs sense.

The store is also important from a promotional perspective in that it is both a marketing initiative maintaining Amazon[ at the] forefront of consumers minds, and can be used as a point of collecting for products.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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