While much has been made in the past few months about Amazon’s grocery store of the future, Amazon Go isn’t the online retailer’s only brick-and-mortar play — and a new move indicates that Amazon looks to continue expanding its physical retail presence outside of the grocery space.
In Seattle, Amazon is reportedly opening its tenth bookstore operation.
“We are excited to be bringing Amazon Books to Bellevue Square in 2017, and we are currently hiring store managers and associates,” an Amazon spokesperson told Recode.
That’s not all. Amazon has plans to christen new physical book stores in Chicago, New York City and New Jersey and at least two other locations later this year, according to the company’s Q4 earnings outlook.
The Amazon bookstores naturally offer digital experience alongside the analogue texts, using the physical stores as a way to test out Echo and Kindle devices.
“We think the bookstores, for instance, are a really great way for customers to engage with our devices and see them, touch them, play with them and become fans. So we see a lot of value in that as well,” said Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky during the company’s Q4 earnings call.
The bookstores also act as marketing tools for Amazon Prime memberships. Last year, Amazon implemented a pricing structure at its physical bookstores in which Prime members get cheaper prices than non-Prime members. Prime members can purchase books and items for the same price that the books and items sell for on Amazon’s eCommerce site. For those who are not Prime members, they pay the list price at the bookstore.
One wonders if and when the online retailer will begin to install the “just walk out” technology of its Amazon Go endeavor in its bookstores. The technology would work just as well in the bookstore space, and the added convenience could act as a draw for customers who aren’t looking to wait for books to ship to their homes.