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Amazon rumored starting own, Kindle-focused stores

updated 01:55 pm EST, Mon February 6, 2012

Amazon may sell Kindle and paper books in Seattle

Amazon may dip into retail stores if rumors prove true. A boutique shop was said by Good E-Reader to be in the works for Seattle before the holidays. Most of the emphasis would appropriately be on the Kindle and Kindle Fire, but the store would also include exclusive paper books as well as accessories.

Tracing the design would be difficult. As with many of its projects, Amazon is believed using a proxy company to avoid giving away its plans. The design is claimed to be modeled "after Apple," which would imply an upscale, open look.

The Seattle shop would be part of a larger deployment, but it would initially keep to the area both as Amazon's hometown and as it tries to decide how it can minimize taxes. Amazon's business has been partly built on the frequent lack of sales tax on cross-state orders, and it's thought hesitant to commit strongly to a business where it can't avoid these taxes.

Amazon already has a retail presence for the Kindle through Best Buy, Staples, and other big-box chains. Like Apple, however, it has often been eager to control the whole experience and may dislike having no physical space of its own to distinguish its devices. Most credit Apple's retail stores to elevating the entire brand, both by providing an ideal environment to try devices as well as a one-stop place for service.

The step could partly help circumvent decisions by rival bookstores to avoid selling Amazon paper books out of retailiation for its signing e-book exclusives like DC Comics.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Ok that's just weird

    So it would be a combination of a little bookstore (like the kind Amazon killed) plus a place to show of a few low-priced ereaders/tablets? Try a Kindle touch or Kindle Fire and then walk across the mall and try an iPad. "Ah! Now I see why the iPad is selling so well even though it's more expensive. Thanks, Amazon."

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Skepticism about Seattle

    I'd suggest being skeptical about any long-term, across-the-nation plans from these rumors. Amazon has tested things in Seattle that have gone away rather than gone national.

    For a time I lived in one of about a dozen magic Seattle Zip codes that not only offered free delivery for any order amount, but Amazon also tossed in a free, reusable shopping bag for the delivery container. The only gotcha was that the orders were delivered by Amazon Fresh food vans, and then apparently only on slow days. Mine came only on Wednesday.

    It was a good deal while it lasted, but it went away. Amazon probably got the data it needed to discover that it wasn't profitable. People bought little if any more, and I suspect that all too many were like me--they never got around to putting out the old Amazon shopping bag out when the new delivery was made. The fact that the bag top sealed with Velcro made them temptingly handy to keep around for household storage.

    It'll be interesting to see if Amazon puts this store in the University Village shopping center, where Apple and Microsoft stores glare at one another across a parking lot.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    They'll be opening

    right next to the Scotch Tape store. ;)

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