According to recent reports, Amazon is set to open 300-400 physical stores after years of clashing with, and sometimes defeating, traditional bookstores across the world.
The internet-based retailer has already opened its first physical store. Located in Seattle’s University Village, it sells books for the same price as set on Amazon’s website. Also available in other US Universities are ‘pickup points’, which allow students to check out the latest Amazon-branded gadgets, such as E-readers and other technology synonymous with the brand. If everything goes to plan, Amazon will join the list of other popular online retailers who have decided to step into the physical world, including Google, Birchbox, and more.
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However, many have criticised the proposed expansion. Seeing as online retail giants (Amazon included), and the e-readers, tablets, and other technology they produced were blamed for the decline of bookstore chains such as Borders, it’s no surprise that some consider the opening of physical stores in their place to be rather malicious. In truth, some bookstore chains such as Waterstones in the UK and Europe are on the rise again. Here in the US, brands such as Barnes & Noble are suffering slightly and having to close stores, but only time will tell if the emergence of Amazon outlets swamps another much-loved book retailer/ the rest of the bookstore economy, or helps it to flourish in the digital age.