Amazon.com, Inc. is planning to open a physical bookstore near Boston as part of its efforts to build a national bookstore chain, Fortune reported. The e-commerce giant’s thrust for physical stores is creating worries for independent bookshops in the United States. The e-commerce titan opened its first bookstore in Seattle last November.
Amazon Bookstores Offer Unique Shopping Experience
According to an Amazon job listing, the new bookstore will be located in a shopping center in Dedham, Mass., a Boston suburb.
The online retailer also has disclosed plans for additional stores in San Diego, Chicago, Portland, and New York City. The company plans to open a physical bookstore in Chicago, Illinois, and another one in Portland.
The shopping experience at an Amazon Books store is slightly different from other stores. The online retailer mixes the benefits of online and offline book shopping, with a selection chosen based on customer ratings, pre-order and sales figures, and its employees’ assessments. The company uses data from its website – customer ratings and sales – to decide which books to stock at its physical stores.
In addition, the physical stores allow the company to sell books and Kindle and Fire devices, as well as market its other services.
The company’s first bookstore, Amazon Books in University Village, Seattle, was opened in 2015. The company touted the store as 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,” according to its its website.
It is important to note that there is no change in prices at the physical stores and the company’s e-commerce site.
Will Firm Open 400 Bookstores?
Earlier this year, Sandeep Mathrani, who is CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties, surprised the market by saying that the e-commerce giant is planning to open as many as 400 bookstores. “You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400,” Mathrani said on an earning call. However, he later backtracked on that statement.
Meanwhile, Amazon.com, Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders that the e-commerce giant is planning to open more brick-and-mortar bookstores.
“We’re definitely going to open additional stores; how many we don’t know yet,” Bezos said at a shareholders meeting in May. “In these early days, it’s all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue.”
Bezos, at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in May, said that his company’s brick-and-mortar stores are about “satisfying a completely different need. It’s about browsing and discovery.”
In addition to bookstores, Amazon.com, Inc. is also betting big on drive-up grocery locations in the United States and UK. The company plans to open a new drive-up grocery location in Seattle, according to planning documents discovered by GeekWire.