Amazon to open physical retail store by year's end

By on February 7, 2012, 12:30 PM

Amazon is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store in the Seattle area by the end of the year. The company plans to test the retail waters by stocking Amazon Exclusives as well as e-readers and tablets in the boutique shop, according to sources close to the situation as reported by Good E-Reader.

The sources noted that Amazon is planning a smaller boutique style shop rather than a massive retail store. In addition to selling Kindle e-Readers and Fire tablets, the shop will also stock accessories likes screen protectors, cases and USB adapters. The company is also planning to sell physical copies of books written under their newly formed publishing division – titles that rivals like Indigo, Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble refuse to offer.

The e-commerce giant has already contracted the layout of the retail store using a shell company to avoid detection by the competition. This is similar to the process that most large companies use when submitting products to the FCC for regulatory approval. Rumors suggest the firm is based in Germany but a specific name wasn’t mentioned.

If successful, Amazon would likely want to expand to other locations but not before some critical tax planning. Amazon has been at the center of debate for some time because they only charge sales tax to buyers if they have a physical distribution center in the buyer’s home state. Recent estimates by the National Governors Association peg potential online sales tax revenue at about $22 billion.




User Comments: 10

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Cerf Cerf said:

Lol, amazon should have done that 10 years ago! Well, either way, they'll most likely succeed.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Better to order from them online than to go to their store. Of course Amazon started from a garage selling books then online books.. Can't see why the need to open B&M is so important for them.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think this type of storefront only really makes sense now for Amazon. The products and selection were too widely varied, with many just drop-shipped from other suppliers, to make having a storefront feasible in the past. But now, with the Kindles, Amazon has an actual product line to tailor a small store around. Coupled with the exclusive titles only available through them, of course. But, make no mistake, this storefront is all about promoting and selling those Kindles, to reap the long-term media sales...

Which makes me wonder... With Amazon selling Kindles at such slim (or zero) margins, relying on the ongoing media sales to recoup costs, what metric will they use to measure the "success" of a storefront?

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Vrmithrax said:

I think this type of storefront only really makes sense now for Amazon. The products and selection were too widely varied, with many just drop-shipped from other suppliers, to make having a storefront feasible in the past. But now, with the Kindles, Amazon has an actual product line to tailor a small store around. Coupled with the exclusive titles only available through them, of course. But, make no mistake, this storefront is all about promoting and selling those Kindles, to reap the long-term media sales...

Which makes me wonder... With Amazon selling Kindles at such slim (or zero) margins, relying on the ongoing media sales to recoup costs, what metric will they use to measure the "success" of a storefront?

You can rent out a broom closet in a mall to sell kindles....

yRaz yRaz said:

I wonder if they will offer in store discounts to those who pay for Amazon Prime

Scshadow said:

This doesn't make any sense to me, isn't the point of having an online store is to reduce overhead by not having to deal with retail BS?

tonylukac said:

Didn't take a lesson from Best Buy, which is failing at its B&M stores.

Guest said:

I don't really understand this move. Amazon's success has reduced or removed other physical store retailers, so why do they now want to get into that game?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Look at Apple... their stores are successful, but there's really no reason for them. They want to expand the Amazon brand, probably because the Kindle is the first of many products they plan to release.

It does sound a little silly though.... like the bike fad with fixies. You're purposely dealing with a problem we've got a solution for. I guess it makes you 'cool'.

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