Maybe Amazon thinks the famous saying actually goes, "If you are beating them, join them, too." At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Amazon's first bricks-and-mortar bookstore opens in the University Village shopping center in Seattle, the company's home base. The new store is called, simply, Amazon Books.
Of course the mega company Amazon puts its own spin on the traditional bookstore. Every book on the shelves has its cover facing out — just like how you would see it on the website — and is tagged with a customer rating and review for the book from Amazon.com.
In a statement on the company's website, Jennifer Cast, the vice president of Amazon Books, explained how the bookstore chose its inventory:
Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com. 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, and our curators’ assessments. These are fantastic books! Most have been rated 4 stars or above, and many are award winners.
You know when you're in a grocery store and you always end up buying candy because it's right at the cash register? Amazon Books plans something like that, too. At check-out, customers can find books rated 4.8 or up from Amazon.com. Consider it the last-minute must-have section.
And the prices? They will be the same as if you were purchasing the book on Amazon.com — which will likely still undercut other bricks-and-mortar bookstores. Customers can also purchase e-books for their Kindle or Kindle app.
Of course, Amazon pushes its electronic gadgets to customers, as well. At Amazon Books, you can try Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and the Fire tablets with a sort of Apple-style "Genius Bar" of pros on hand to help you answer questions.
Seattle is famous for being a city of dedicated readers, so Amazon definitely knows its market. But with so many beloved indie bookstores in the city, like the Elliot Bay Book Company and Secret Garden Bookshop, we'll see how the giant Amazon fares.