E-commerce giant Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) is set to open its first bookstore in New York City tomorrow, bringing the total number of physical bookstore locations for the company to seven. Customers can currently shop at Amazon Books in Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, Portland, and Dedham and Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
The store is located in a 4,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar space in The Shops at Columbus Circle, a mall-like structure in Manhattan. This will be one of two New York City Amazon Books locations, and like others, the bookstore will display ratings and reviews, mimicking the bookselling experience of Amazon.com. 3,000 books will be stocked, and each book will have reached a four-star-or-more rating on Amazon, with the exception of certain bestsellers and new releases.
The bookstores are very tech savvy, and customers can utilize the Amazon app on their smartphones to scan bar codes placed next to the books to see additional information. Even popular Amazon devices like the Echo and Fire tablets will be on display, in addition to other gift items typically found in a bookstore.
One thing that makes Amazon Books stand out is its payment method: it doesn’t accept cash. Prime members can, instead, use the Amazon app to pay for purchases, while non-members can use a credit or debit card. As for pricing, it’s the same as on Amazon.com, but non-Prime members pay the list price on books and other items.
For Amazon, location is key for Amazon Books. Not only is the bookstore entering into rival Barnes & Noble’s territory, but Columbus Circle has that mall vibe, housing other stores like H&M, J. Crew, Coach , and Whole Foods , so a bookstore makes a perfect addition.
Additionally, New York City is a key city for book publishing, home to some of the industry’s giants like Scholastic (SCHL - Free Report) , News Corp , which owns publishing house HarperCollins, global academic publishing company John Wiley & Sons (JW.A - Free Report) , Time Inc. , and Pearson Plc (PSO - Free Report) . Amazon Books is situated right near these company’s corporate headquarters, perhaps as a reminder that Amazon is still there, and still redefining the media industry.
How will Amazon Books do in the Big Apple? Probably pretty well. These bookstores seemed to be designed for the masses, and the company’s first New York City location is perfectly placed in a shopper and tourist friendly space. Even the second bookstore on 34th Street will be near the city’s Macy’s (M - Free Report) flagship location, another prime shopping hub.
More Amazon Books locations coming soon include one in New Jersey, another in Bellevue, WA, and two more in California.
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