eCommerce leader Amazon is moving more deeply into the brick-and-mortar retail arena with the launch of two new physical bookstores, both of which will welcome customers this week, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The first brick-and-mortar store, located in San Jose, California, has already had a soft opening but will hold an official ribbon-cutting Thursday (Aug. 24). The second location, which will be in Bellevue, Washington, will bring the retail giant back to its roots, as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos originally launched the eCommerce platform from his Bellevue garage. The company will open the doors to the new Washington location on Thursday as well.
The latest round of bookstore openings brings the company’s total brick-and-mortar locations to 10, and it may not be stopping anytime soon.
“How many is it? We don’t know yet, but we’re really excited about the results,” Jennifer Cast, Amazon’s vice president of Amazon books, told The Seattle Times. “We’d like to be able to have as many stores as would make sense.”
Some observers considered it curious to see Amazon move into the brick-and-mortar realm two years ago when the retailer debuted its initial Seattle bookstore location. Because many local book shops consider Amazon’s inexpensive online book sales a threat to their businesses, some thought it seemed out-of-place for the firm to then compete in the physical bookshop space.
Amazon’s brick-and-mortar stores offer discounts for Amazon Prime members, while non-members pay more for their selections. The shops sell not only books but also Amazon’s electronic devices from product lines like Kindle, Fire and Echo, The Seattle Times reports.
Amazon is planning to debut two more California locations, one in Los Angeles and another in Walnut Creek, as well as an upcoming brick-and-mortar store in New York City. And, if customers have any input into the future, there may be more on the way.
“Half of our comments are people asking for our stores in other places,” Cast told The Seattle Times.