Literary fans in Seattle will no longer need their MacBooks to procure the latest bestselling book: they just need to stroll down to the local Amazon Books store. Today, the online retailer is opening its flagship physical outlet in Seattle’s University Village. According to a press release, the selection of available titles is based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and curator assessments.
Interestingly, the books will all be displayed “face-out,” meaning that customers will be able to see the covers instead of merely the spine. The reason for this, explains Amazon Books vice president Jennifer Cast, is that the company wants to showcase the authors and their work rather than cramming as many things on a shelf as possible. The first Amazon Books store is fairly large at 5,500 square feet (510 square meters) of retail space and 2,000 square feet (185 square meters) of storage.
Amazon stresses that the in-store price of books will be the same as what you’d find online. And for those looking to purchase something electronic as opposed to a fancy hardback, there’s also the option to check out the company’s range of devices. This includes products across the Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet series. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of the Fire Phone, Amazon’s rather disastrous foray into the Android smartphone industry. The notes that this first Amazon Books store will not be a location where you can pick up online orders.
When questioned about whether the Seattle store is the first of many Amazon Books stores, Cast said that “we’re completely focused on this bookstore … we hope that this won’t be the only one, but we will see.”