Friday, February 10, 2012

Amazon Plans to Open Brick and Mortar Store of Its Own?

The battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble is starting to remind me of a chess match.  A few days ago (Feb 1, to be exact), I posted about B&N's strategic decision not to sell Amazon-published books in any of its brick and mortar bookstores.  B&N said at the time that the decision was a protest against Amazon's policy of tying publishers and authors to exclusive deals that would hurt other booksellers.  So, effectively, Amazon print books were being banned from the largest remaining bookstore chain in the country.

OK, Amazon, you're move.

Yesterday I read this article about what appears to be Amazon's decision to open up a test brick and mortar store of its own in Seattle.  Reportedly, this store will sell much more than just books, but if it does well in Seattle, it is easy to see Amazon stores spreading across the country - if not the world - opening up a walk-in market for Amazon print books.
We have heard that the time-frame of their first location starting up will be before the end of the year to capitalize on the lucrative holiday season. The store may also roll out towards the Fall when their own publishing imprint will officially launch and the first few books will be released. I expect it to launch soon after the Kindle Fire 2 is announced to maximize the exposure they are going to get.

OK, Barnes & Noble, you're move.


  1. I'm keeping an eye on this situation and am curious to see how it will all end up. The beauty of Amazon for folks is the online element. Will a brick and mortar store do well? I guess they will sell their Kindles there but I am not convinced that the store would be successful.

  2. I've a feeling this is more of a problems for stores like Target than Barnes and Noble. I think people go to Amazon for so many things other than books now, that they're really a department store, not a book store.

    If I were Target, I'd be a little worried. Barnes and Noble has always been the better bookstore.

  3. If this is the route Amazon is really going to go, it's going to make it kind of hard for them to continue to argue that they shouldn't be required to charge sales tax...

  4. Kathleen, this was probably coming sooner or later, but I think the boycott by other bookstores on the Amazon-printed titles might have moved it up on the calendar a bit. I think their success is going to pretty much depend on selection and pricing, just like the competition.

  5. James, it will be interesting to see what they actually move to this potential location. Obviously, it can only be a tiny fraction of their warehouse catalogue, so what is to distinguish them from other retailers, I wonder?

  6. You're right about that, Library Girl. I have to wonder if giving up their tax advantage is worth doing something like this. That is a major advantage they have on brick and mortar retailers right now and it seems dangerous for them to put it at risk...unless they already see new legislation up the road that will take it away anyhow.