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Amazon.com has gone back to its roots as a bookseller by opening a brick-and-mortar bookstore.
Named Amazon Books, this store with 5,500 square feet of retail space and 2,000 square feet of storage is Amazon.com’s first physical store of any kind, the Seattle Times reports.
It opened Tuesday in Seattle, a location chosen because it’s close to Amazon.com headquarters and is a top market for readers.
Amazon Books has the advantage of access to Amazon.com’s data, which the bookstore is using to help determine which books to stock.
We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping. The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads [a book-review website that Amazon acquired in 2013], and our curators’ assessments.
Amazon Books’ method of displaying stock also sets it apart from other brick-and-mortar bookstores. All books are displayed with their covers facing outward rather than their spines facing outward.
Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books, tells the Seattle Times the move is intended to showcase books and their authors rather than cramming in as many titles as possible:
“We realized that we felt sorry for the books that were spine-out.”
Amazon Books’ stock is also priced the same as books available on Amazon.com, so customers don’t have to go online to determine whether they’re getting the better price at the bookstore.
Cast declined to detail future plans for the Seattle Times, including additional locations. However, she did add, “We hope this is not our only one.”
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