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A ‘Real-Life’ Amazon Book Store?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

amazon store

Stephen Brashear via Getty Images

Yes, it’s happening, Amazon opened their first brick-and-mortar store on 3rd November last week. Waterstones have already spoken out with the slightly-hilarious-yet-aggressive notion that they hope the store “falls flat on its face”. But how should we, the general public and fellow book-lovers, feel?

Personally I am a little confused about how I feel. Whenever I do order a book on Amazon, I feel a creeping sense of guilt for not supporting my favourite local book shop. So would I feel differently about buying a book from a real-life Amazon store? There is only one of these Amazon book stores open right now and it is over the pond in Seattle with no sign yet of any more stores popping up elsewhere. But let’s just pretend that the Amazon book store had opened around the corner to me in London, would I visit? There’s a part of me that would like to say no, but I know curiosity would lead me inside eventually…

And curiosity has already lead me inside in some way, as I have been doing a little digging into what it’s like inside the Seattle store. According to the internet there are no visible prices; you have to scan the item you wish to buy under a price checker or with a Kindle Fire app to find out how much it’ll set you back. Which actually makes sense because they need to ensure their store prices match their online prices, which often change. I’ve also discovered that the store stocks a small number of 5,000 titles, all of which are best sellers or have received high ratings from readers and reviewers. Again, this makes sense, as this way they know they’re sure to sell the books they stock. It all seems quite sensible, really.

Would you visit? And will there be many more Amazon book stores appearing on high-streets?

Jessica, intern


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