From Publishers Weekly:
Remarks by the CEO of a mall operator set off a firestorm of speculation in the media and book publishing industry last week about what plans Amazon might have for creating its own bricks-and-mortar bookstore chain.
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Amazon had no comment on Mathrani’s remarks, which were made last Tuesday morning, and the company declined to elaborate when asked how Mathrani knew about Amazon’s plans.
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Asked whether the job postings prove that the company is planning to open more Amazon Books locations, an Amazon spokesperson said the only publicly announced store is the one it opened in Seattle in December.
As with most issues that involve Amazon, publishers were reluctant to discuss what the company may or may not do with Amazon Books, although a few executives did speak for attribution. Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah said she does not think Amazon will look to open hundreds of stores, but believes the most likely course of action is a strategic expansion to showcase its electronics—as well as some books.
Another industry executive, who requested anonymity, said a limited store rollout is the most probable scenario. He said Amazon has to be tempted to do something in physical retail given the success Apple has had in selling its devices through the Apple Store.
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Kensington Publishing CEO Steve Zacharius questioned whether Amazon would open hundreds of stores that focus primarily on selling books that carry low margins, but he observed that if Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or an independent chain announced it would open 400 outlets, “we’d all be jumping for joy.” Given Amazon’s dominant position in selling books, Zacharius said such a large bookstore expansion by the company could be a positive move for the industry—if “the books are sold at a reasonable price, not as loss leaders, so that everybody is competing on a fair basis.”
The head of another midsize independent publisher also pointed to Amazon’s strong market position and concluded that a large Amazon bookstore presence would be “unquestionably bad” for the industry. A big physical store footprint would position the company to take an even bigger slice of consumer book spending, the executive said. This executive feared that, rather than expanding the book market, a chain of Amazon bookstores would make it even harder for B&N to survive—and the survival of B&N is one of all publishers’ top priorities.
Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly
PG says if your industry’s future is based upon the survival of B&N, you might want to move to a different industry. And Steve Zacharius made sense for a couple of minutes, then his case of Amazon Derangement Syndrome kicked back in.