Carol Tice , Contributor - Forbes
Now, rumor has it, the Seattle everything-store plans to open a boutique bookstore in its home town, featuring the Kindle and books both virtual and in print that are Amazon exclusives.
Also, why not? And what took so long?
It could just be a media-grabbing, one-shot flagship store. It could even be a seasonal holiday store that’s gone come January.
But my gut tells me that’s not what’s coming. This is likely the birth of a major new retail bookstore chain, a Waldenbooks for the 21st Century. Sure, they’ll test and tweak at that first store. But get ready for the rollout.
Why, after being such a success by not having any stores, should Amazon take this leap? Two words: market opportunity.
A physical Amazon bookstore addresses one of the biggest problems in brick-and-mortar retailing today — the mind-numbing sameness of product. You go through a mall, and it’s the same clothes, the same gadgets, and in bookstores, the same books.
Someone at Amazon has awoken to the realization that the company is sitting on a gold mine of unique books and ebooks. Put that together with its own reader device, and you’ve got the setting for a cross between Barnes & Noble and the Apple store — in other words, a bookstore my 10-year-old son is going to want to visit. And buy things at, and read them, on his Kindle.
It’s nothing less than a breakthrough way to engage young readers who are growing up reading on a screen. It’s the right medium coupled with that increasingly rare commodity in retail: exclusivity.
Full piece at Forbes.