Strange as it may sound, Amazon is moving firmly into the physical world with Amazon Books.
The online retail giant is opening its first real bookshop in Seattle today. Unlike the online marketplace, though, this won’t be selling all sorts of other bric-a-brac alongside books. It’ll have just what it promises on the label: A classic bookshop.
Amazon Books won’t be without its quirks, of course: The online retailer has opted to place all of its books face-out rather than with the spine facing customers, and is including every book’s Amazon rating alongside it.
The store will select its stock based on customer ratings on the website as well as pre-order and sales figures, and books will be sold for the same price as on the website, the company said in a statement:
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.
Experts have been suggesting that the line between in-store and online shopping is blurring more and more for some time now, and Amazon isn’t the first tech giant to be experimenting with physical stores: Google opened its first physical shop on Tottenham Court Road this spring.
Amazon itself has previously dabbled in the real world with a brick-and-mortar pickup location opening earlier this year at Purdue University in Indiana.
Amazon has declined to comment on whether more stores are planned - but if things go well in Seattle, we can expect the online retailer to expand the experiment.