Home » Amazon, Bookstores » Amazon’s bookstores are pulling straight from the playbook of independent booksellers

Amazon’s bookstores are pulling straight from the playbook of independent booksellers

From Business Insider:

Amazon, which famously triggered the fall of big bookstore chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble, is now building its own network of physical bookstores.

. . . .

What’s driving this change at Amazon, a company who downright rejected the idea for physical stores in a shareholder letter ten years ago?

Amazon is notoriously secretive, but a closer look shows the company may be inspired by a thriving group within the book industry: independent bookstores.

Independent bookstores have been undergoing a renaissance of sorts in recent years, taking advantage of the void left by the shrinking national chain stores.

. . . .

And by following some of what makes independent bookstores so appealing to readers — like smaller store size, neighborhood location, and a personalized curation method — Amazon may be trying to replicate the same type of unique shopping experience, without the human touch.

. . . .

Most of the Amazon bookstores are also launching in community neighborhoods, instead of commercial shopping districts, going after the markets typically owned by independent bookstores.

. . . .

Independent bookstore owners are already starting to feel threatened by Amazon’s bookstores. In Chicago, for example, 15 bookstore owners have joined each other for an initiative to remind their respective communities of the importance of local bookstores.

The threat is even felt in San Francisco, where Amazon hasn’t revealed plans to open a bookstore yet.

Michael Stuppin, the owner of Alexander Books Co., a 26-year-old bookstore in downtown San Francisco, says an Amazon store in the city would take a direct hit on his business.

“Amazon could afford to pay for a better location. There’s an opportunity for them,” Stuppin told us.

Link to the rest at Business Insider

Amazon, Bookstores

7 Comments to “Amazon’s bookstores are pulling straight from the playbook of independent booksellers”

  1. “. . . .

    Most of the Amazon bookstores are also launching in community neighborhoods, instead of commercial shopping districts, going after the markets typically owned by independent bookstores.

    . . . .”

    Aren’t they all — or nearly all — in malls? What does the above sentence even mean?

  2. In Chicago, for example, 15 bookstore owners have joined each other for an initiative to remind their respective communities of the importance of local bookstores.

    If you want to stay in business, provide the customer with a service they want. When you start telling your customers that you’re too important to fail, it’s time to check the end date on your lease.
    It seems like too many businesses simply offer what they want to offer and they expect the customer base to adapt to them. Maybe they need to think about things other than books that might draw traffic, like a small cafe. I know it’s not cheap to provide space for that but you can fixture a small coffee shop without having to blow a ton of cash.
    At least try something other than telling folks that they have a moral obligation to patronise you.

    • Or maybe just thinking a little harder about books would help as well. At the Amazon bookstores a customer can order any book in print. The selection on the shelves for immediate browsing and purchase is drawn from top sellers without regard to publisher. Neither is true for many independent bookstores which are more interested in selling you the right sort of book than selling you a book.

    • Exactly. When you have to put up signs begging customers for support, organizations trying to get them to come in for the nostalgia, you’re done.

  3. Well I think they didnt open physical stores before because of state tax laws. they didnt have to collect sales taxes in a state they had no physical business in.
    The states came after them over it and finally came to an agreement where amazon would collect the sales tax.
    No reason to avoid physical locations any more.

    And probably a bit of influence of some people’s reluctance to buy the kindle without seeing it, then having issues with the physical retailers they partnered with (like target).

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