The online mega-retailer has opened its first ‘real’ bookstore, with an inventory including thousands of the site’s most highly-rated print books.
Although it got its beginnings as an online bookstore, many were surprised when Amazon.com—which has grown to become the largest online retailer in the U.S.—opened its first brick-and-mortar store earlier this month. As Leonid Bershidsky writes in his recent New York Post article, “retail stores are still not strictly necessary, and yet Amazon now has one in Seattle. That’s because the book market has proved less one-dimensional than publishers and sellers feared in 2010 and 2011.”
The article notes that today’s book market is multifaceted and complex; rather than destroy that market, electronic publishing capabilities have forced everyone to “play to their strength.”
Amazon’s powerful analytics will determine which books to stock in the physical bookstore. “In effect, software will be advising customers what to buy, but gratification will be instant, unlike on Amazon.com,” writes Bershidsky.
He adds that Millennials are an important market force. “They’re feeding the growth of independent bookstores: They like the ambience, the socialization, the book-crazy salespeople who are good at recommending exactly what the customer is looking for. Even some big retailers are getting better at leveraging these advantages.”