Amazon has sold a lot of books, but never like this.
On Tuesday, the online retailer will throw open the doors of its very first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, Washington.
"Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com," company vice president Jennifer Cast wrote in a statement published Monday. "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."
Among the store's selling points:
- Virtually all of the books are presented face-out "to give you more information as you browse." Cast told the Seattle Times that Amazon "wanted to showcase authors and their work, rather than cramming as many titles as possible on shelves. 'We realized that we felt sorry for the books that were spine out,' Cast said."
- Beneath most books is a review card with relevant Amazon.com customer ratings and reviews. "You can read the opinions and assessments of Amazon.com’s book-loving customers to help you find great books," Cast said.
- Some sections in the bookstore are highly targeted using data from Amazon.com shoppers, with titles like, "Gifts for Young Adults: 4.5 Stars & Above" or "Fiction Top Sellers in the Pacific Northwest." As the Seattle Times noted, Amazon's trove of data on consumer habits "could also solve the business problem that has long plagued other bookstores, unsold books that gather dust on shelves and get sent back to publishers."
Prices at Amazon Books will be the same as those offered on company's website, Cast said. Also, the store will let customers try out products like Amazon's Kindle, Echo, Fire tablet and connected TV devices.