So much for conventional wisdom—not that Amazon has ever really been a company of conventions. Today the online retailer bucks every trend imaginable with the launch of Amazon Books, an honest to goodness, real-life, brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle's University Village neighborhood.
With the seeming near-extinction of the bookstore, from mom and pop shops to massive retailers like Borders and Barnes & Noble well underway, the company made a clear point to assure consumers that its completely on the level here. As Amazon put it in a statement issued yesterday:
Tuesday morning at 9:30, Amazon Books will open its doors. These aren't metaphorical doors: these real, wooden doors are the entrance to our new store in Seattle's University Village.
Amazon has been fairly cagey about its game plan here, though the move seems to suggest that it's just the first step in the company's play to fill in the retail vacuum it played a large role in helping to create, adding,
"Tomorrow is literally Day One for Amazon Books, and we hope you will visit and share your ideas and feedback by dropping a card in our suggestion box or clicking the link at the bottom of the page."
The store looks to harness Amazon's online retail experience, bringing aspects of the site into the real-world shopping experience, with posted customers reviews and ratings and books priced the same as their online counterparts.
And similar to Barnes & Noble's play with the Nook, Kindles, Fire TVs, and other Amazon-branded devices will be on hand for customers to test drive ahead of the holiday.
Unlike the site, however, Amazon Books will actually be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.