Amazon Continues to Grow its Brick and Mortar Presence

In a somewhat ironic twist, e-commerce powerhouse, Amazon, has announced plans to continue expanding the company’s brick and mortar retail experience. According to Fortune, Amazon recently announced plans to open a third location of the company’s Amazon Books in Portland, OR. The company has already opened one bookstore in Seattle where Amazon’s HQ is located. The second location is scheduled to open in San Diego later this summer.

In the early days, Amazon was initially created as an online bookseller, offering books via e-commerce at significantly discounted prices. The goal then was to compete with larger, established bookstores around the country, including the now-defunct Borders, and the fledgling Barnes & Noble, still the largest brick and mortar bookstore chain. The irony that Amazon is opening retail stores now is not lost on founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who recently confirmed at a shareholder meeting that the company is “definitely” opening more stores.

Amazon Books offers a somewhat different shopping experience in their stores than consumers might experience at traditional booksellers. For starters, the company uses data from its e-commerce site, such as sales and customer ratings to determine which books to stock. Books are displayed face-out, rather than spine-out, and include each book’s Amazon rating, as well as a customer review. More than just books, Amazon Books also lets customers experience and purchase other products that Amazon manufactures and sells, including the Kindle, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, and Echo. Bezos has said that Amazon’s brick and mortar presence is about “satisfying a completely different need. It’s about browsing and discovery.”

Even in our ever-expanding world of online shopping, the nation’s e-commerce giant still sees value in the tactile retail consumer experience that only a brick and mortar presence can satisfy.