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.