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.

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