A whopping 4,000 square feet of Time Warner Center will be taken over by the company as it opens its first physical retailer on the right coast (Amazon currently has bookstores in Oregon, Washington, and California). The NYC store is just the first of a few Amazon plans to open on this side of the country, with ones in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois to come.
The decision to revert from the digital world to the real world stems from the fact that 91 percent of retail shopping that still happens in physical stores, the LA Times reports.
“My expectation is Amazon will take all the best of online and apply it to the physical store,” Brendan Witcher, an analyst at research group Forrester, said to the Times.
He added that a physical store would facilitate window displays to catch the attention of occasional shoppers and allow new users to “experience the Amazon brand.”
Not everyone is convinced by the sentiment behind Witcher’s pitch. “Amazon’s new brick and mortar bookstore is wildly banal,” Dustin Kurtz wrote for The New Republic. “The store ... betrays inexperience with retail.”
“Can’t Amazon let the book-selling old guard have anything?” HuffPost’s Claire Fallon asked.
The Amazon Books news came not long after the announcement of Amazon Go just last month. Amazon Go, a Seattle-based grocery store, uses deep learning technology to allow customers to grab whatever they want and leave.