updated - June 1, 2020 Monday EDT
Amazon.com, Inc. introduces Amazon Books, a brick and mortar bookstore, located at Seattle's University Village in a note to its online customers.
Amazon Books is the online retailer's first real bookstore in its 20-years of selling books online and it first opened on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
Amazon.com said in the note that the bookstore will be a physical extension of the company and will provide an experience that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.
The bookstore will have books that are based on Amazon.com's customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and the assessment of the company's curators.
Amazon.com adds in the note that their books are face-out and will have a review card under each one, which shows the ratings and reviews of Amazon.com's customers.
This provides customers more information as they browse the books at Amazon Books.
The Seattle Times adds that Amazon Books looks a lot like the bookstores that are found in malls across the U.S.
The bookstore has about 5,000 to 6,000 books on its wooden shelves.
The Seattle Times adds that there is an irony in Amazon.com opening a physical bookstore.
The online retailer could, for years, undercut physical retailers on the prices of books because it didn't have a location to maintain.
However, Amazon.com couldn't provide customers the instant gratification of owning an item the second it was purchased, according to The Seattle Times.
The online retailer also couldn't provide customers the personal touch that knowledgeable sales clerks of physical bookstores could do.
The Seattle Times adds that Amazon.com is betting that the data it has on shopping patterns of its online customers can give it an edge against other physical bookstores.
The online retailer plans to use the data to offer titles that are more popular and will appeal most to Seattle shoppers.
Jennifer Cast, the vice president of Amazon Books, told The Seattle Times that the bookstore though won't be stocked with books solely on data.
"It's data with heart," she said. "We're taking the data we have and we're creating physical places with it."
The Seattle Times adds that Cast declined to provide further details on the online retailer's future plans about Amazon Books.
"We're completely focused on this bookstore," she said. "We hope this is not our only one. But we'll see."
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