Remember those Amazon Bookstores I mentioned a while back, with their odd shelving arrangements? They started off full of promise.
Amazon begins a new chapter with opening of first physical bookstore – The Guardian
Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, said the surprise initiative showed the strength of demand for hardback and paperback books. “This is a vote of confidence in the physical book and the physical book store,” he said. “Book stores have been imperilled in recent years, but even Amazon has seen the benefit of a physical browsing experience.”
That initial enthusiasm didn’t last …
Amazon charges non-Prime members more at physical bookstores, hinting at new retail strategy – GeekWire
When the Amazon bookstore in Seattle opened almost exactly a year ago — the company’s first full-fledged retail location — book prices were identical to those on Amazon.com, whether you were a Prime member or not. But now the discounted prices are only available to Prime members. If you’re not, you’ll pay sticker price. The message: If you’re not a Prime member, you can’t get discounts.
Amazon’s bookstores are generating almost no revenue — and there’s an obvious reason why – Insider
More likely the real reason is that the bookstores aren’t really a place for browsing and discovering books like a local independent bookstore — they’re actually just a place for Prime members. There’s no compelling reason for a non-Prime member to visit an Amazon Books store, except maybe to check out devices like the Amazon Echo or Kindle.
Is Amazon’s brick-and-mortar store a facade for e-commerce? – Fortune
The ideas brought forth in Amazon Books are novel—such as review cards for each title that feature an aggregate of Amazon.com user ratings and a critic’s review—but industry experts believe the store is more interesting in what it’s attempting to achieve: to drive online sales through a brick-and-mortar presence.
… and they’ve finally shut up shop for good.
Amazon to shut its bookstores and other shops as its grocery chain expands – Reuters
Amazon had aimed to reach shoppers in more places and bring its online touch into the real world. Its bookstores would pull from its vast data trove and showcase what people were reading, even the reviews they left on Amazon’s website. But the company’s innovations were not enough to counter the march toward online shopping that Amazon itself had set off. Its “physical stores” revenue – a mere 3% of Amazon’s $137 billion in sales last quarter, largely reflective of consumer spending at its Whole Foods subsidiary – has often failed to keep pace with growth in the retailer’s other businesses.
Amazon to close all Bookstores – Publishers Weekly
The opening of its first store and subsequent national rollout gave rise to widespread speculation about what Amazon’s goals and motives were in opening the outlets, as well as a guessing game about where Amazon Books would next appear. Despite rumors that the company planned to open hundreds of bookstores, the chain’s impact on the overall bookstore business has been negligible.
Amazon is closing its terrible brick-and-mortar Bookstores – Curbed
“Spending time browsing here was among my most dismal shopping experiences in recent memory: joyless, arbitrary, spiritually empty. And that was before a 20-something guy bounded into the store and started screaming: ‘Alexa! Alexa! Alexa!’” read a New York Times review of the 4-Star store in Soho. “Antiseptic and bewildering,” said The New Republic, which pointed out that readers generally didn’t care if books were on a lot of other people’s wish lists, had 4.8 versus 4.7 stars or were “hot on Amazon.” Many people noted that the bookstore’s selection was incredibly sparse, much more so than a normal bookstore, in part because the books were all displayed facing out to attract maximal attention and showcase their data points.