Amazon could be about to open a bricks-and-mortar store in Seattle aimed at selling the Kindle - according to rumours on blog goodereader. Amazon execs are impressed by Apple's trendy hangouts shops, said the goodereader source, and want to get a piece of the boutique retail pie. The Seattle store would test out the concept and …
with only high margin and high-end items?
That'll be the Kindle and Kindle Fire? Both sold at or near cost price?
They'll need to see a load of cases and chargers to make any money, but is that high end?
It makes no sense, Amazon is thought to even take a loss on the ad-supported Kindle and now they're going to pay for salesmen and rent?
Surely they have other plans, such as letting people picking up regular orders from the store.
1 word - ECOSYSTEM
Amazon's play isn't about hardware, it's about ecosystem, they want to give you a device which will channel you through their estore and make far more money than a simple hardware margin.
So spending some cash on a retail store to increase prestige and brand awareness is probably straight out of the marketing budget, it's not intended to be directly profitable necessarily.
1 Word - PROFITABLE
At some point you have to be or you go bust.
Amazon can only support so many loss leaders
I think they can afford to support quite a lot of loss leaders actually.
as there are people willing to pay full price for one e-book and an "official" case rather than a cheap Ebay copy or know a mate with a DVD full of thousands of e-books.
" ... helpful Amazonians ... "
"Would you like death by snu-snu with that Kindle?"
...I had snu-snu
I don't get this
Apple's stores made sense. When they came out, they needed to get people to see their computers and iPods and get hands-on experience with them. At the time, the Apple retail experience was terrible. Our local dealer wasn't bad, but the buzz was that local dealers and CompUSSR had non-working models on the floor, poorly trained and uninformed staff, and CompUSSR's sales staff were getting commissions from other PC manufacturers and were thus steering people away from Apple. So it made sense for them to do it.
Amazon ... someone tell me what I'm missing that they would need this.
What you're missing is the fact that over the last few years they've been branching out into selling their own line of consumer electronics, rather than just stocking warehouses with books and DVDs. Granted, I'm not sure how well things are going to work out with them moving into the bricks and mortar retail space, but their pockets are easily deep enough to give it a go even if it fails.
Argos, without stock.
I've heard, from two people who work (separately) for Amazon UK, that they're looking at offering collection services at their distribution centres, with the products available for collection within about 4hrs hours of ordering. I can only assume that the retail idea is the same thing, on an even more local basis.
Beware Unintended Consequences
Or maybe it is intended... Amazon gets a huge amount of sales from people who are not required to pay sales tax. As soon as one of those stores opens in a previously tax exempt state, all those web orders become taxable.
Exactly what I thought when I read this. But now that I think about it some more, I seem to recall that the issue of sales tax in some state (California?) was going to be revisited in the near future, so maybe they think they're screwed on that front anyway and are making the best of it.
Or it could just be a rumor. Who knows?