There’s no doubt about it, in its third decade of business, Amazon dominates the world of online shopping. Which makes it rather strange, some would say, to see them opening more and more bricks and mortar stores. This week has seen Amazon open its seventh US bookshop in New York, attracting many interested shoppers keen to see what was on offer. The first bricks and mortar Amazon store was opened in Seattle in 2015 and by the end of 2017 it plans to have 13 across the US.
Whilst in terms of sales, the bricks and mortars are a marginal part of Amazon’s business, they do have two fundamental purposes. Firstly, they are great for brand awareness and building Amazon’s already strong brand. Secondly, they are also good for boosting awareness and signups for the Amazon Prime subscription service. This is because Prime members get the online prices in the store, while non-members must pay the list price for books.
Some Views Of Shoppers At Amazon’s New Bookshop
Andrea Bernstein who lives in the Upper West Side said that she had be eagerly awaiting the opening of the new book store and that it could change her shopping habits. “I respond very well to this. I will buy things that I won’t normally buy,” she said.
Yvonne Reid was impressed overall but thought the new store lacked ‘hangout space’. “I’m sorry that they don’t have more space where kids can come and sit and read,” said Reid, who reminisced about spending hours at Barnes & Noble when her kids were younger. “This does seem like more of a take-your-book-and-run kind of a thing.I think it’s so ironic that so many wonderful bookstores were put out of business because of them, and now they’re opening up a bookstore. But I think it’s nice.”
Catherine Rice, 28 said that whilst she saw the opening as something to be excited about, she was concerned for other book shops: “To see this comeback is definitely exciting. But at the same time, I wonder is Amazon a monopoly? Is it going to kill all the smaller bookstores?”
Jennifer Rak, 36 said: “It seems to be a vehicle to drive people to the app and to being a Prime member.”
Debra Mayer was disappointed with the new store, especially when she could not order a book that is only available on Amazon’s website. She doesn’t shop online because she is concerned about identity theft.
Matt Lantin, 21, admired how every book at the store was displayed so that its full cover, and not just its spine, was visible.“They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but in this case, not only can you see the cover, but you can also see the review below it”