Amazon Books Opens Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore in New York City

The online retailer will debut its highest-profile physical location Thursday.

May 24, 2017 10:32 am
Amazon opens its first bookstore in New York City Thursday. (George Rose/Getty Images)
Amazon opens its first bookstore in New York City Thursday. (George Rose/Getty Images)

Amazon is going out the warehouse and into the Big Apple.

On Thursday, the e-commerce giant will open a bookstore in New York City. The Columbus Circle location is one of two planned for the city and the sixth brick-and-mortar store from Amazon in the country.

Each book is paired with a rating and a review. (George Rose/Getty Images)

It’s also the highest profile salvo into the retail territory held by competitors like Barnes & Noble.

Amazon Books brings the experience of shopping online into stores, organized using the 20-plus years of book selling data. Each of the 3,000 books sold come with reviews and ratings.

One half of the store is grouped by location-specific popularity and placed on shelves with titles recommended together online. The other half is organized by what’s read the fastest on the Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader.

Much like the way they’re displayed online, books are displayed with their covers facing outward, not the spine, so customers are encouraged to flip through the pages.

Customers can check out using the Amazon app on their smartphones. (George Rose/Getty Images)

To check out, customers are encouraged to use their Amazon app by offering major discounts to Prime members, who have the option of bringing the book home or having it shipped.

Critics say Amazon Books is a cruel joke given that e-commerce giant’s domination of sales has put many independent bookstores out of business. But others think its an example of CEO Jeff Bezos’ cunning business vision.

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