Amazon has reportedly implemented a new pricing structure at its physical bookstores in which Prime members get cheaper prices than non-Prime members.
According to a report, at the Amazon bookstore in Seattle’s University Village, Prime members can purchase books and items for the same price that the books and items sell for on Amazon.com. For those who are not Prime members, they pay the list price at the bookstore. The report noted that, when the Seattle bookstore opened last year, the prices at the physical store were the same as online, regardless if you were a Prime member or not. But that has now changed, favoring Prime members.
Discounts range from 6 percent to close to 40 percent, but they don't apply to Amazon’s devices, including the Echo speakers or Fire tablets. The report noted an employee said the pricing rules started in August and are applicable at Amazon’s three bookstores in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. Amazon is preparing to open two other bookstores in Chicago and Boston.
In August, Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass confirmed in an email that Amazon was bringing an offline bookstore, dubbed Amazon Books, to Southport in Chicago. The store, which is aiming to open next year, will be located at the former location of Mystic Celt bar and restaurant, which was shut down. This isn’t the first time Amazon has melded the online and offline worlds. Last fall, it opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore near its headquarters in Seattle.
With the Chicago store, the eCommerce giant plans to mix the convenience of online with offline shopping for books. There will be a selection of books based on customer ratings and pre-order and sales numbers, as well as employee assessments. The books, which customers can peruse before buying, include reviews by Amazon shoppers, similar to what they see online. Customers have a lot of choices when it comes to making a purchase. They can buy in the store or place an order to be delivered. Amazon will also sell its devices, including Kindles and Fire tablets.