Amazon.com, Inc.AMZN is reportedly planning to open its third brick-and-mortar bookstore in the Portland area, home to a large community of booksellers.
According to news sources, the new bookstore will open in Washington Square mall in Tigard, OR, just outside of Portland this fall. Prices will be the same as on Amazon.com.
It would be interesting to see how the competitive atmosphere builds up in the country's most bookish metro area as Amazon places itself in direct competition with the well established Powell's City of Books.
Powell's has been there in Portland since 1971 and currently offers more than two million new and used volumes through five stores.
If the news is true, it will confirm what CEO Jeff Bezos had announced in May. Bezos had said that the company will launch more brick-and-mortar bookstores.
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Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal indicated Amazon's plans to open 300 to 400 bookstores across the country. However, Amazon declined to comment on the report at that time. So it appears that the speculations are slowly turning out to be true.
Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore, known as Amazon Books, last year at Seattle's University Village shopping center. Besides stocking 5000 to 6000 books at a time, it serves as a platform to increase customer loyalty to the Amazon brand. The store displays sales figures and customer reviews with the books. It also allows customers to try out the new Kindle e-reader. The second store is expected to open at San Diego's Westfield UTC mall.
What's unique about Amazon bookstore is that the books don't have a price tag. This is Amazon's way to make customers download the Amazon app so that they can have a look at the prices.
Though Amazon's strategy behind going the brick and mortar way is not clear, we believe that this could make for a more personalized experience that some book readers actually prefer.
Currently, Amazon is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.
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