Amazon Reported To Be Opening Its First Physical Store
Well, we called it. At the end of last year, we listed seven predictions for Amazon in 2012, the first of which was: "Amazon opens its first store."
The Good E Reader website is reporting that its sources say Amazon is indeed planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months.
The northwest city is where Amazon is based, and where they first trialled the Amazon Lockers in a 7-Eleven last September.
According to Bloomberg, the company's quarterly profits announced on January 31st were lower than expected - 58% lower than the previous quarter, in fact, affected mainly by the manufacturing costs of Kindle Fire, which most analysts agree is sold at a loss.
As for the design and location of the new store, nothing has yet been announced, however Good E Reader claims that the new store will be a boutique space, "stocking the shelves with only high margin and high-end items", while website The Street reported back in 2009 that Amazon had had a patent accepted for a design of a small building that resembles a store. Also in 2009, The Times of London reported that Amazon was thinking about opening stores in London, but these rumors came to nothing.
Opening a store would certainly help Amazon in two current problem areas. Firstly, when Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch announced the Nook Tablet in November, he remarked that "A lot of people want to know they can take their device into a store and get help with it," stating that they had a bricks-and-mortar advantage over their rival in the e-reader market.
Secondly, a few days ago, Barnes & Noble and Books A Million announced that they wouldn't stock books published by Amazon.
As Amazon is increasingly being viewed as a rival to Apple, an investment in bricks and mortar might prove to be a significant move for both online and high-street consumers.
Amazon did not return a request for comment.