Amazon Books

Last updated
Amazon Books
Subsidiary
Industry Retail
FoundedNovember 2, 2015;4 years ago (2015-11-02)
Number of locations
17 (2018)
Products Books, Amazon Echo, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV Amazon Basics
Owner Amazon
Website amazon.com/amazonbooks

Amazon Books is a chain of retail bookstores owned by online retailer Amazon. The first store opened on November 2, 2015, in Seattle, Washington. As of 2018, Amazon Books has a total of seventeen stores, with plans to expand to more locations. [1]

Contents

Products

The first location in Seattle has approximately 5,000 titles stocked on its bookshelves, using shelf space to display the covers of books facing outwards instead of spines; according to Amazon, the decision was made to showcase the authors and their work, rather than efficient use of space. The shelves display positive reviews and star-ratings from the Amazon.com website and prices are matched to online equivalents. [2] [3]

The store also sells Amazon electronics, including the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, the Kindle Fire tablet series, the Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Fire TV. [4] [2] Two locations of Amazon Books have a cafe.

History

The first Amazon Books store, located at the University shopping center in Seattle, Washington, opened on November 2, 2015. [2] The store has been described as the first permanent store from Amazon, [5] who opened pop-up shops and pickup outlets on several university campuses in 2015. [6] In February 2016, tech news website Re/code reported that longtime Amazon executive Steve Kessel was leading the retail store initiative, having previously been part of the team to launch the first Amazon Kindle e-reader. [7] During development of the project, it was referred to as "Project Anne" in filings with the city. [8]

Amazon Books opened its third store in the Washington Square mall in the Portland metropolitan area. Amazon Books at Washington Square - Tigard, Oregon (2017).jpg
Amazon Books opened its third store in the Washington Square mall in the Portland metropolitan area.

On February 2, 2016, a CEO of a shopping center owner claimed that Amazon planned to open as many as 400 bookstores; [9] [10] [11] the statement was retracted by the company the following day. [12]

Amazon Books's second store opened on September 7, 2016, in San Diego, California, [13] and was followed by openings at Washington Square near Portland, Oregon, [14] Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts, [15] Chicago, New York City, and Paramus, New Jersey. Other stores in New York City, Bellevue, Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles) are expected to open between 2017 and 2019. [16] [17] [18] [19]

In November 2016, Amazon Books began charging non-Amazon Prime members a separate price for books and other non-electronic products, while Amazon Prime members retained the online price-matched rate. [20]

Locations

As of October 2018, Amazon Books operates seventeen stores in the United States, with plans to open additional stores in the near future. [4]

Current locations

LocationMallOpened
Seattle, Washington University Village November 2, 2015 [2]
San Diego, California Westfield UTC September 7, 2016 [13]
Tigard, Oregon Washington Square October 25, 2016 [14]
Dedham, Massachusetts Legacy PlaceFebruary 28, 2017 [15]
Chicago, Illinois Southport CorridorMarch 23, 2017
Lynnfield, Massachusetts MarketStreet LynnfieldApril 14, 2017
New York City The Shops at Columbus Circle May 25, 2017
Paramus, New Jersey Garden State Plaza June 14, 2017
Bellevue, Washington Bellevue Square August 24, 2017 [21]
San Jose, California Santana RowAugust 24, 2017 [21]
New York City 34th StreetAugust 29, 2017 [22]
Los Angeles, California Westfield Century City October 3, 2017 [23]
Walnut Creek, California Broadway Plaza November 2, 2017 [24]
Washington, D.C. Georgetown March 13, 2018 [25]
Bethesda, Maryland Bethesda RowJune 26, 2018 [26]
Austin, Texas The Domain 2018 [1]
Los Angeles, California Palisades Village2018 [27]
Scottsdale, ArizonaScottsdale QuarterNovember 19, 2019 [28]

Planned locations

Reception

Local bookstores in the Seattle area described wariness over the physical presence of Amazon.com, with the University Book Store in the U District noting "different spending patterns" two months after the opening of Amazon's store; an Amazon spokesperson dismissed the notion that Amazon Books would interfere with independent bookstores and their operations, stating that "offline retail is a big space with room for lots of winners." [32]

The executive vice president of Half Price Books, a national chain of new and used bookstores, saw the interest that Amazon is showing in expanding brick-and-mortar bookstores as something good for the industry, stating in February 2016 that it was a sign that the "printed word isn't dead". [33]

After the announcement of a third store in Portland, Oregon, CEO Miriam Sontz of local bookstore Powell's Books stated that Amazon's move to open physical stores was acknowledgement that "something special occurs in a physical bookstore that is not replicable online" and that Portland was "filled with book lovers and book buyers", quoting bank robber Willie Sutton's quip that he targeted banks "because that's where the money is". [34]

The New Yorker, covering the first New York City store opening at Columbus Circle, called it in a headline "Not Built for People Who Actually Read," continuing to say the store is "designed to further popularize, on Amazon, that which is already popular on Amazon." [35]

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References

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