Speculations about Amazon's expansion into the realm of physical stores began last February. But so far, the online company has only put up one brick-and-mortar bookstore at an outdoor mall in Seattle and is currently building another one near San Diego.
On Tuesday, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos finally confirmed the company's plans to indeed build a lot more stores and also extend the benefits currently enjoyed by Amazon Prime members.
At the annual Amazon shareholders meeting, Bezos addressed the crowd of 100, which included employees and members of the media. Although he did not give out any specifics on the number or locations, he confidently announced that Amazon will indeed be opening a lot more stores.
In addition to more physical locations, Amazon will also be expanding the benefits for Amazon Prime members. Just like the plans for the stores, however, Bezos was guarded on the specifics of the plans.
For the price of $99, Amazon Prime members are able to enjoy unlimited free shipping from orders on the Amazon website and also have access to exclusive deals and offers online. Bezos shared that they will add so many benefits for Prime members that other customers will feel “irresponsible” not signing up as well.
Although Bezos himself admitted that they are still unsure how many physical stores will be opened, he said that the upcoming will be all about learning.
“In these early days it’s all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue,” he said.
What is known is that the initiative (rumored to be codenamed Amazon Books) to expand to more physical stores will be headed by Amazon executive Steve Keseel, who also oversaw the successful launch of the first Kindle.
Amazon is in a good place to be experimenting. Shares in Amazon stocks have been steadily rising (AMZN, -2.17%), reaching particular highs in recent days according to Market Watch.