|Founded||November 2, 2015|
Number of locations
|Products||Books, Amazon Echo, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV Amazon Basics|
Amazon Books is a chain of retail bookstores owned by online retailer Amazon. The first store opened on November 2, 2015, in Seattle, Washington. As of 2018[update], Amazon Books has a total of seventeen stores, with plans to expand to more locations.
The first location in Seattle has approximately 5,000 titles stocked on its bookshelves, using shelf space to display the covers of books facing outwards instead of spines; according to Amazon, the decision was made to showcase the authors and their work, rather than efficient use of space. The shelves display positive reviews and star-ratings from the Amazon.com website and prices are matched to online equivalents.
The store also sells Amazon electronics, including the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, the Kindle Fire tablet series, the Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Fire TV. Two locations of Amazon Books have a cafe.
The first Amazon Books store, located at the University shopping center in Seattle, Washington, opened on November 2, 2015. The store has been described as the first permanent store from Amazon, who opened pop-up shops and pickup outlets on several university campuses in 2015. In February 2016, tech news website Re/code reported that longtime Amazon executive Steve Kessel was leading the retail store initiative, having previously been part of the team to launch the first Amazon Kindle e-reader. During development of the project, it was referred to as "Project Anne" in filings with the city.
Amazon Books's second store opened on September 7, 2016, in San Diego, California, and was followed by openings at Washington Square near Portland, Oregon, Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts, Chicago, New York City, and Paramus, New Jersey. Other stores in New York City, Bellevue, Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles) are expected to open between 2017 and 2019.
In November 2016, Amazon Books began charging non-Amazon Prime members a separate price for books and other non-electronic products, while Amazon Prime members retained the online price-matched rate.
|Seattle, Washington||University Village||November 2, 2015|
|San Diego, California||Westfield UTC||September 7, 2016|
|Tigard, Oregon||Washington Square||October 25, 2016|
|Dedham, Massachusetts||Legacy Place||February 28, 2017|
|Chicago, Illinois||Southport Corridor||March 23, 2017|
|Lynnfield, Massachusetts||MarketStreet Lynnfield||April 14, 2017|
|New York City||The Shops at Columbus Circle||May 25, 2017|
|Paramus, New Jersey||Garden State Plaza||June 14, 2017|
|Bellevue, Washington||Bellevue Square||August 24, 2017|
|San Jose, California||Santana Row||August 24, 2017|
|New York City||34th Street||August 29, 2017|
|Los Angeles, California||Westfield Century City||October 3, 2017|
|Walnut Creek, California||Broadway Plaza||November 2, 2017|
|Washington, D.C.||Georgetown||March 13, 2018|
|Bethesda, Maryland||Bethesda Row||June 26, 2018|
|Austin, Texas||The Domain||2018|
|Los Angeles, California||Palisades Village||2018|
|Scottsdale, Arizona||Scottsdale Quarter||November 19, 2019|
In 2018, Amazon also intended to open those additional bookstore locations by late 2018 or early 2019, but the plans were halted for unknown reasons. Some of the scrapped locations are instead occupied by Amazon 4-Star stores.
- Lenox Square, Atlanta, Georgia
- The Village, Meridian, Idaho
- Park Meadows, Lone Tree, Colorado Note: This location became an Amazon 4-Star store instead.
- Somerset Collection, Troy, Michigan
Local bookstores in the Seattle area described wariness over the physical presence of Amazon.com, with the University Book Store in the U District noting "different spending patterns" two months after the opening of Amazon's store; an Amazon spokesperson dismissed the notion that Amazon Books would interfere with independent bookstores and their operations, stating that "offline retail is a big space with room for lots of winners."
The executive vice president of Half Price Books, a national chain of new and used bookstores, saw the interest that Amazon is showing in expanding brick-and-mortar bookstores as something good for the industry, stating in February 2016 that it was a sign that the "printed word isn't dead".
After the announcement of a third store in Portland, Oregon, CEO Miriam Sontz of local bookstore Powell's Books stated that Amazon's move to open physical stores was acknowledgement that "something special occurs in a physical bookstore that is not replicable online" and that Portland was "filled with book lovers and book buyers", quoting bank robber Willie Sutton's quip that he targeted banks "because that's where the money is".
The New Yorker, covering the first New York City store opening at Columbus Circle, called it in a headline "Not Built for People Who Actually Read," continuing to say the store is "designed to further popularize, on Amazon, that which is already popular on Amazon."
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