Amazon has made its first bold move to the high street with the opening of its first physical bookstore.
20 years after the goliath of online retail started selling books on the internet, the company will unveil its first bricks and mortar store called Amazon Books next week.
Situated in University Village in Seattle, the store will offer around 6,000 titles with the selection based on reviews and sales data from Amazon.com. The price of books in store will be the same as listed on the website.
Chief executive of the Publishers Association told The Guardian that the surprise initiative is simply a ‘vote of confidence in the physical book and the physical book store.’
‘Book stores have been imperiled in recent years, but even Amazon has seen the benefit of a physical browsing experience,” he said.
“If they expand it across the US and come to the UK, then the more high street presence there is for physical books the better.”
The store will feature a range of bestselling books from Amazon.com and a collection of those rated 4.8 stars and over by online customers. Comments from reviews will also be shown next to each book.
“We have applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping,” said Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books.
Earlier this month, the alternative online retailer and harbinger of unique and quirky gifts, gadgets and toys, Firebox.com revealed its own move from online to both internet and high street shopping.
With a selection of toys and games on offer, the retailer unveiled its first pop-up shop in Newcastle before detailing its plans to open more physical Firebox stores across the UK.