Amazon has frustrated booksellers like Barnes and Noble for years. As the online bookseller transformed the way consumers purchased books, brick and mortar bookstores throughout the country struggled to keep up. But now Amazon is taking to the streets as well, making it an even larger force to compete with.
Today, Amazon opens its first retail bookstore in Seattle. The store is called Amazon Books, and looks just as you'd imagine a bookstore to look. Shelves are packed with over 5,000 titles, including the latest best-sellers and Amazon.com customer favorites. You may think, "So what? Big deal," but it is.
What's most interesting is the business strategy behind Amazon's decision to branch out with physical stores. Since its inception, Amazon has been able to sell books cheaply because of the reduced overhead it maintains by not having stores. So why would it reconsider?
The answer is simple. Amazon believes that it has an advantage over other traditional bookstores. It has been tracking consumer purchasing trends for over a decade and has accumulated a lot of inside data.