Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I thought the Amazon store was a terrible idea. Then I actually went there.

By Sarah Kliff

 I entered Amazon's first brick-and-mortar store completely convinced it was a terrible idea. I already had a snarky headline ready in my head: "I went to the Amazon store in Seattle. It was just as dumb as you think."

Except … it wasn't. I spent about an hour in Amazon's downtown Seattle bookstore, which opened on Tuesday. And it actually made me think the store wasn't that dumb. It might even be a good idea, a thought that still gives me cognitive dissonance. I went into the store expecting to write a takedown. I ended up buying a book and a pair of headphones.

There are definitely dumb parts of the store, for sure, and I will happily detail those below. But my big takeaway was this: The case for the Amazon bookstore is the case for any retail store. It's a curated collection of items available for immediate purchase. If that doesn't sound revolutionary, it's because it isn't! It's how stores have worked for decades now — and why there are millions of them in perfectly good business across the country. Amazon has been a phenomenal success, but it hasn't rendered brick-and-mortar retailers obsolete. And with the Amazon bookstore, the company is acknowledging that might not be such a bad thing.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. It's a showroom. Works for cars, why not for books? There's just something PLEASURABLE about browsing real bookstores that's missing on a website.
    I discovered Patrick O'Brian in a real bookstore. Never would have happened online. Fourth time through the 20 book series.