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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Amazon Bookstores Slated For NYC, Boston & Chicago For 2017



The more bookstores, the better.  

This holds true in the case of Amazon as well, even though the online giant and ebook king poses a grave threat to the book market with its predatory pricing system and centralization of power.

People generally love Amazon.  They find whatever product they want, usually at a very good price, and get it shipped to wherever they are – quickly-- and often for free.  They are the undisputed leading retailer on the Internet. But can they contribute something positive as they open up brick and mortar bookstores – or will they use the stores to increase marketshare and their online presence?

Amazon opening bookstores is like China championing free-speech laws – you remain suspicious and defensive. On the one hand, it sounds great that more bookstores are opening and that Amazon is realizing that physical books sold from physical places still have value.  On the other hand, you wonder what they are up to.

It was announced that Amazon was finally opening a bookstore in New York, slated for this spring in the Time Warner Building by Central Park.  A Borders used to be there.

A second NYC bookstore may open in midtown, on the west side, when the Hudson Yards project is completed in 2018.

Amazon also has committed to opening a store in a Boston Suburb and in Chicago’s Southport this year.

In 2015, it opened its first one, in Seattle, and last year it debuted in San Diego and Portland, Oregon.

For Amazon, the move makes sense.  It has wanted to surpass Wal-Mart as the biggest retailer and it can speed that pursuit up by opening physical stores.  It’s always looking for expansion into new areas and to dominate whatever industry it enters.  Some purists deride the fact the digital giant is going into the land of physical stores when it used to dismiss the idea.  Others welcome it and see the stores as a way to connect better with the company.  Amazon could easily use these stores to sell non-book products and serve as showcases for anything, from electronics and clothes to things it doesn’t yet sell.

But it’s hard to root for Amazon.  Authors and publishers and bookstores have been injured by its practices for years. It would be like a New York Yankees Fan suddenly rooting for the Boston Red Sox.  Or a Hillary Clinton fan applauding Donald Trump.  But stranger things have happened.

How fast will Amazon grow its store fleet and how different will these stores be from other bookstores?  Time will tell.  Will these stores further grow Amazon – or become a drain on them?  Oh, the drama begins.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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