Amazon the Disruptor Goes Brick and Mortar

amazonbooksEven the king of digital commerce knows that real books and real bookstores have huge appeal.

For a book lover, this is major news.

Amazon – that king of commerce disruption that many claimed caused the demise of the brick and mortar bookstore – has opened a brick and mortar bookstore.

“Not only is it one of Amazon’s first physical locations, but it’s also Amazon’s first physical bookstore,” writes a somewhat breathless Jacob Kastrenakes in The Verge. (And we don’t blame him…this is big news.)

“Amazon says that it won’t entirely be doing things like a traditional store, however; it’ll be relying on data — including customer ratings, sales totals, and Goodread’s popularity — to decide which books to stock. Curators will have some say, too,” Kastrenakes continues.

A retail location where the consumer truly drives demand? Intriguing idea.

“One thing that Amazon’s store seems to be doing differently is putting all of its books face out, rather than spine out, and putting up a placard for each of them that contains their rating and an actual customer review. In-store prices will all match online prices, too (which means they’ll probably change while you’re holding them),” Kastrenakes notes.

The store, located in Seattle’s University Village, is a permanent location, not a pop-up store, and the company says they are considering opening other locations. As Kastrenakes notes, “if this first store succeeds, it’s possible that Amazon will expand its book-selling empire with the very thing that it once helped to destroy: bookstores.”

The appeal of Amazon – quick delivery of any title you could want at a price you can’t beat – inside an actual bookstore setting makes us swoon. I think it’s time for a field trip to Seattle.